“Winter is nature’s way of saying, ‘Up Yours.” – Robert Byrne
You’ve heard your friends or family talking about it. They didn’t secure their house in Southeastern Wisconsin against the inevitable bone-chilling cold that winter brings and a water pipe burst. If that only meant having to repair the pipe it would be one thing. But, having to deal with the extensive damage and inconvenience that uncontrolled water running into a house causes is quite another.
Having to deal with the damage caused by frozen pipes or ice-blocked drains, in the winter, is really like adding insult to injury. It’s bad enough that it’s colder outside than a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg. Water spraying about from a burst pipe destroying or damaging everything in its path is just enough to push you over the edge during the dark, dreary days of winter.
Your friends at Lee Plumbing are anxiously waiting by the phone for your call.
“Hello, Lee Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric, how may I help you?”
“I am worried about my water pipes and drains freezing and want to know what we can do to avoid it.”
“Well, ma’am, there are a lot of things you can do. We’ve been in the plumbing business for over 40 years, so we’ve had experience with just about every pipe bursting or frozen drain backup situation you can imagine.”
“Would you mind sharing a few with me?”
“Not all all. Just put down the phone and keep reading and you’ll get a lot of really great suggestions.”
“Well thank you. Lee Plumbing is always so nice when I call. I’m going to go read the rest of this blog.”
Securing your home for winter (from a plumbing perspective) involves carefully checking the areas around your pipes. Seal up any holes around pipes or drains that are adjacent to outside walls where the interior heat might not reach.
There is a kind of tape available that actually heats the pipes in those areas. One kind of heating tape turns off and on automatically depending on the temperature of the pipe. Others need to be plugged in when you think it is cold enough to use it. Our technicians are experts in applying it if you would prefer not doing it yourself.
There are many kinds of pipe insulation wrap that will do the trick as well. Ask your Lee plumber to review which options might be best for your unique situation.
The plumbers at Lee Plumbing will inspect your existing pipes for leaks that may have already resulted from the expansions and contractions resulting from the seasonal changes in Southeastern Wisconsin. You will want someone who knows what they are doing to repair those.
Before the first freeze, disconnect hoses and turn off the water leading to outside faucets. After it is off, be sure to drain the excess water that might still be standing in the pipes between the water valve and the faucet. It will extend their life if you store those hoses someplace inside out of the freezing cold.
On bitterly cold days, leave a trickle (at least a drip) of water running from all of your faucets. Open the cupboards around pipes and drains in areas where the heat might not normally reach.
If you leave the house, don’t set the thermostat any lower than 55 degrees. Trying to save money by letting the cold air come into your home can end up costing you a great deal more in the long run. To say nothing of the frustration involved.
Don’t let Old Man Winter throw you a curve. If your pipes do freeze the first thing you should do is shut off the water leading to the house, or at least to the area where the leak is located. Try using an electric hair dryer to thaw the pipe out. Bob Jr. recommends Revlon :^>, but virtually any brand of hair dryer will do.
If you have appliances like washing machines in your garage or other unheated areas, don’t forget to shut off the water access when you are not using them on cold days.
Each house or business is different. So every winterization project will require a few different tools. That’s where your friends at Lee Plumbing come in – we will assess your risk and recommend solutions.
“Hello – are you still there?”
“Yes ma’am, Lee Plumbing is here 24/7 to answer all of your questions and help you through those unexpected plumbing challenges.”
“Well, that was a great blog. So many great plumbing tips. And so well-written too.”
“Why thank you. Just remember, as we say at Lee Plumbing, a good flush is better than a full house. We stand ready to help with all of your plumbing, heating, electrical and cooling needs. Have a nice day.”
If you take all of these steps but still want to have somebody come out to help you secure your house against frozen water pipes and drains, be sure to call a licensed plumber like one of the skilled tradesmen working at Lee Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric.
Lee Plumbing is fully BBB accredited. We are your local experts in both residential and commercial projects. Contact us at 262-657-9440. We are happy when you are happy. We think that means no frozen pipes or drains this winter!