During the winter in American Fork, UT, your plumbing can suffer a lot of damage if you don’t winterize the plumbing that is exposed to the elements. When water freezes, it expands; and if the water is stuck in your pipes and then freezes, your pipes may fracture or even burst. If pipes burst inside your home, flooding will result, and there will be incredible damage to your floor and your belongings. Not only will you need to clean up the damage, but you will also need to replace your pipes. As American Fork and the surrounding areas can see some huge drops in temperature during the winter season, here are some important steps you can take to winterize your exposed plumbing and prepare for the colder months.
Cover Your Outdoor Faucets
The first step you should take is to remove any hoses or splitters that are attached to your outdoor faucets. Once you have removed any attachments, you should cover each faucet with an insulated cover. These covers should fit right over the faucet, leaving no area exposed. It is important to make sure the cover seals tightly around the base of the faucet. What you don’t want is cold air leaking in.
The purpose of this kind of insulation is to keep any radiant heat from escaping. The surrounding heat, in turn, prevents the water in your pipes from freezing. To help keep the radiant heat from escaping, you can even tie a piece of cloth around the faucet before covering it with an insulated cover. At the end of the cold season, you can remove the faucet covers and store them until the following winter.
Insulate Your Exposed Pipes
Whenever metal pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures, there is a possibility that they will suffer damage. If you have any exposed pipes that are in unheated areas, make sure to cover them over the winter. Even a couple of days of freezing temperatures can result in your pipes bursting. Besides preventing your pipes from bursting, insulating your pipes will also reduce heat loss. You can wrap these pipes with insulation foam. You can also use pipe wrap or wall insulation. Pipe-wrap insulation can simply be duct-taped to your pipes. For longer pipes, you can use foam pipe sleeves, which are available in different diameters. Make sure not to have any uncovered gaps as the freezing temperatures may affect the pipes in these areas.
Winterize Your Air Conditioning Unit
Believe it or not, winterizing your AC unit is important as well. If you have an air conditioner, you should turn it off. The on/off switch is underneath the metal lid, next to the unit. As with the rest of your pipes, cover any exposed pipes for your AC with insulating foam. You can use duct tape to keep the foam in place, or you can purchase self-adhesive pipe insulation. Finally, only cover your AC unit with an air conditioner cover if you know you will remember to remove it before turning your AC on in the Spring, otherwise, we do not recommend covering it. Your AC is designed to be outside and can withstand pretty much whatever Mother Nature throws at it.
Fix Your Leaks
A tiny hole or crack in your pipes can cause damage if your pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures. Why would damage occur over a small crack? When you have leaks, cold air can pass through the cracks, freezing the water inside. That frozen water will then expand and cause the hole or crack to expand, enlarging what was a small problem into a bigger one. To prepare for winter, call in a plumber to fix all the leaks that are exposed to outdoor temperatures. At Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we can detect where the leak is coming from. In addition, if you have interior shut-off valves that lead to these faucets, you can close them. Once you have fixed the leaks and closed the valves, drain the faucets until they run dry. This is to make sure that there is no extra water stuck inside.
At Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we can help with any plumbing issues that you may have, such as water heaters, toilet repair and installation, garbage disposal, faucet repair, drain cleaning, and leak detection. We can also offer tips on winterizing your plumbing, what materials you should use, and the steps you shouldn’t miss.
Call Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing when you need heating, cooling, or plumbing services in American Fork, UT. Not only can we offer plumbing tips for the upcoming winter, but we can also take care of any heating or cooling installations, repairs, and maintenance services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving all of your home climate comfort needs.