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Preparing Your Pipes for the Winter Season

indoor pipe with insulation

Winter is on the horizon and with it brings indoor plumbing’s #1 enemy: below-freezing temperatures! There are few things more annoying than a frozen pipe. Not only will it prevent you from completing basic household tasks, such as flushing, showering, or cooking, but it also puts the pipes at risk of bursting. 

Frozen water expands and eventually causes pipes to burst no matter how strong they are. A burst pipe will shoot water onto the floor and damage everything around it including walls, ceilings, and personal items. Hiring a leak repair specialist is necessary if this happens.

We’ve put together a quick winter pipe preparation checklist with the most important tips to ensure your home is ready for Ottawa’s harshest season. We recommend that you follow this guide if you want to avoid having to look for emergency plumbing services at three in the morning!

3 Must-Do Outdoor Pipe Preparation Tips

Insulate pipes 

Pipes in outdoor areas (or in cold indoor spaces such as attics or garages) should be accompanied by fibreglass pipe insulation and heat cabling. Running a heat line along your pipe and insulating it will keep the heat in and the cold out. This tip is a big help against the Ottawa cold and will help you save on plumbing services!

Seal Cracks 

Holes will appear over time in your windows and doors which let in cold air. To avoid the risk of this cold air finding your pipes, we recommend you apply weathering strips or expanding foam that can insulate the space. If you’re applying foam near pipes, make sure you don’t insulate the pipes from the heat in your pipes as this will contribute to a higher likelihood of frozen pipes.

Detach Your Hoses 

Hoses filled with water will quickly freeze if left to the elements. The ice will likely run from the hose, through the facet, and into your home. This is the perfect recipe for cracking pipes! Make sure to disconnect your hose from any outdoor faucets and store them away for winter. 

3 Indoor Preparation Tips for Your Pipes

Open Doors and Drawers 

Pipes are usually hidden from the eyes, making it difficult for heat to reach them. For instance, your sink’s piping is likely stored in the space directly below the sink hidden behind cabinet doors. Open these doors to allow the warm air to circulate and balance the pipe’s temperature. Thankfully, sink piping is a common problem that leak repair experts can solve easily should you experience issues. 

Run Hot Water 

this one will hurt the water bill but it’s certainly cheaper than struggling with a broken pipe! Running hot water through your pipes will heat them up and radically reduce the risk of them bursting. 

running water in the sink

Shut Off the Water 

shut the water off at its source if you will be away for a couple of days or more. Pipes still have the risk of cracking from Ottawa’s intense cold, but it’ll be an easier job for the plumbing services to repair the issue

What to Do in Emergency Situations

The first thing you should do after a pipe bursts is to shut off the main water supply. This will help the prevention of further spilling from the burst pipe and will protect your belongings from water damage. 

The next (and most important step) is to call an expert plumbing service or leak repair expert. These experts, such as Aqua Drain, are extremely knowledgeable about burst pipe scenarios and will be able to safely address the issue. 

Expert Plumbing Services in Ottawa

It’s important to protect your home’s pipes during the cold Ottawa months. Burst pipes can cost thousands of dollars in repairs and that’s the last thing anybody wants to deal with during the harshest season of the year.

Contact Aqua Drain if you suffer from a burst pipe emergency and need a reliable, trusted, and efficient plumbing service in Ottawa. Aqua Drain’s emergency services, including leak repair, are available 24/7 year-round to ensure that you’re protected from anything at any time.