Tips for Preventing a Plumbing Disaster this Winter

Winter will be here before we know it—are your pipes ready? It is that time of year again to start thinking about winterizing your outdoor hose bibbs and protecting your pipes from freezing temperatures. Remember that it only takes one hard freeze to cause damage inside your hose bib. Taking action now can help you avoid a messy or expensive issue this winter!

One of the most important steps to take before the weather turns cold is to remove the garden hose from the hose bibb outside, allowing water to drain properly from inside the valve.  If water is trapped inside the hose bibb, it can freeze, crack and burst parts of the valve due to the expansion of the water—which can mean water damage inside your home or business.

It is also important to insulate any pipes (both hot and cold water pipes) that could come into contact with exterior walls, as well as insulate cracks and openings that could allow cold air to come in and freeze the pipes or valves. Search the entire space for the areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas, like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages or under kitchen and bathroom cabinets to ensure all pipes are insulated.

Here are a few additional action steps to help you prepare this winter:

  • Drain water sprinkler systems or water irrigation systems prior to the onset of the extreme cold
  • Ensure the furnace in your building is functioning up-to-par by scheduling a professional check-up
  • For those traveling away from their home or business in the winter, set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees, have someone stop by daily to check on the building and remember to shut off the drain water system

At A.Y. McDonald, we’re here to help when you need to repair a frost-proof sillcock faucet that’s been damaged by the onset of frozen temperatures. Watch our video to hear from Jim Francois,  Plumbing and Pump Product Manager, on how to fix a faucet that has cracked, burst or frozen. If you need additional assistance, please reach out to our customer service team at 1-800-AY-CARES.