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Prepare Your Pipes for Winter

Oklahoma winters can be totally unpredictable.  Now is a great time to winterize your plumbing to prepare for freezing temperatures and avoid problems when the freezing temperatures do come. Winterizing now can save you a huge hassle and lots of cash by avoiding plumbing repairs or replacements. Use this handy checklist to winterize your plumbing.

  • Insulate pipes

Pipes in unheated areas like a crawl space, garage, or attic are susceptible to freezing temperatures. Use heat cable along the pipes and cover with pipe insulation. The insulation by itself isn’t designed to withstand long-term cold temperatures and can prevent warm air from reaching the pipes when not partnered with heat cable.

  • Shut off outdoor faucets & disconnect water hoses

Open your outdoor faucets to allow excess water to run out, then turn off the faucet at the shutoff valve. If you don’t first allow the bleeder cap to drain, the pipe can still freeze and crack.  Disconnect hoses from outside faucets to protect them from freezing, too.

  • Check furnace or HVAC unit

If your HVAC unit or furnace goes out during the dead of winter, your pipes will suffer through the freezing temperatures until a repair can be made. Ensure your heating system is working properly before winter arrives.

  • Inspect the exterior

Do a walk-around of your home looking for visible cracks that need to be sealed. Cold air will seep through the cracks, causing your pipes to freeze. Use spray foam or caulking to fill the gaps and protect your pipes.

  • Turn off the water if the property will be vacant during winter

Turning off the meter and draining your pipes when closing up for winter will protect pipes from breaking.  When returning to the property, inspect your plumbing for any problems.  Always turn a water meter on slowly to prevent the rush of water from hammering your pipes.

Protecting your plumbing from Oklahoma’s unpredictable winter doesn’t require a lot of extra time or work. Following these basic steps before the freezing temperatures come will help keep your water flowing and pipes intact through the cold snaps.