How to Prepare Your Plumbing for the Winter

Did you know damage from burst pipes can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars? Not all damage is covered by insurance either. We want you to be prepared this winter and safeguard your plumbing from the cold weather.

Fix leaking pipes now.

Inspect your pipes and have any leaks repaired while the weather is still warm. Any pipes with cracks or weak spots can potentially become a bigger problem once temperatures begin to drop below freezing.

Protect pipes in unconditioned areas.

Keeping your pipes warm and protected from the cold is the most important thing you can do to prepare your plumbing for the winter. Installing pipe sleeves is an easy way to protect exposed pipes. They’re easy to install and can be found online or at a local hardware store. Another alternative is wrapping your pipes with heat tape. Heat tape carries a conducting wire that regulates the temperature of the pipe and can be controlled with a thermostat.

Check the water heater.

Your water heater is most important during the winter so now is the best time to make sure it is running properly. Give us a call and our professional plumbers can drain your water heater and perform a maintenance check.

Winterize outdoor faucets.

Outdoor faucets are exposed to the elements all winter long and should be turned off at their shutoff valves. Disconnect and drain any water hoses. For additional protection install cover hose bibs. These insulated covers fit over any outdoor faucet and slow heat loss from a pipe.

Open cabinets and run water.

During extreme cold, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Using a portable heater directed towards the cabinet can help keep the pipes warm too. Trickling water from faucets can also help relieve pressure from frozen pipes.


If you plan on leaving town for a few days, remember to turn off the water at the main shutoff. This will minimize the damage in case a pipe does burst while you are away.

Water damage from burst pipes can happen fast and be very expensive. Preparing your plumbing for the winter can help to avoid leaks and burst pipes from ever happening. Give Bradley Mechanical a call today at (804) 748-6728 and let us protect your home and plumbing.

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