The cold weather can wreak havoc on your pipes. It will not just freeze the water; it will also cause major bursts that can be expensive to repair. The good news is you can take a proactive approach to prevent these from happening. Here are some of the winter plumbing tips you can take to prepare your pipes for the winter season:

1. Secure exposed pipes

If you have pipes running outdoors, make sure that you insulate and cover it well. Do the same on the pipes located in unheated parts of your house. You can use an insulation wrap and other attachments to ensure that your pipe won’t freeze in the cold.

2. Shut down outdoor faucets

Of all the plumbing maintenance tips, shutting outdoor faucets is one of the most important. Aside from shutting down the water supply on this part, make sure that you drain the pipe too. Once you’ve sealed the shutoff valve, open the bleeder cap to remove the trapped water. Getting ready for winter plumbing would be easier if you do this early.

3. Use heat cables

For pipes that are vulnerable to winter damage, heat cables are the answer. This system has a thermostat which will keep the pipe heated as necessary. You can wrap the heated wires using the insulation mentioned above. Heat cables are available in most home centers for a very low price.

4. Seal the joists

Rim joists are common entry points of cold air into your house. Make sure that you seal this using expandable foam even before cold snaps take place. Just make sure that you’re insulating the pipe from the cold and not the heat. Caulk, seal, and patch-up holes to make sure that your pipes are protected from the dropping temperatures.

5. Open your kitchen cabinet doors

During blizzards, the temperature can drop in unfathomable levels. During this phase, the pipes hidden inside your kitchen cabinets are vulnerable. Since they are enclosed behind the doors, the heat in your house can’t get into it well. Opening the doors should fix the problem. You can also place a portable heater pointing to the pipes.

6. Leave faucets running during a cold snap

During a cold snap, one of our winter plumbing suggestions is to let the faucet running. The movement of the water will ease the pressure on the pipes as water starts to freeze. A slow trickle is enough to prevent bursting pipes. It may take a toll on your water bill, but its cost is way lower than paying for a plumbing repair service.

7. Check your furnace

Your furnace might be an unsuspecting part of your heating system but it’s important to ensure that it will work seamlessly during cold snaps. When your furnace bogs down, your entire house suffers. Have it inspected for damages as early as possible to prepare it for the winter season?


These winter plumbing tips are just some of the things you can do to prepare your plumbing for the cold season. If you’re in doubt, you can always call Medicine Hat Plumbing Services for assistance.