8 Tips to Prepare Your Home's Plumbing for Winter

If you’re looking to prepare your home’s plumbing for winter, there are many things you can do to ensure it runs smoothly. With some careful planning, you can help avoid any potential problems so you can spend less time worrying about pipes freezing and more time enjoying the holiday season with your family and friends.

Here are eight tips to prepare your home’s plumbing for winter. 

1) Drain the Water From the Pipes

First, it’s a good idea to drain all of your pipes to prevent them from freezing. If there’s water left in a pipe, then it can freeze and crack when temperatures drop below freezing. So, simply turn off all of your faucets and drain all of your pipes. Once you do that, run some water down each one just so they don’t get clogged during the winter months. 

3) Disinfect the Drains with Baking Soda And Vinegar

Just like our hair goes through a rigorous chemical process during a professional cleaning, so do our drains! Baking soda and vinegar will help get rid of soap scum and other buildup in your drains, while disinfecting them.

Just put 1 cup of baking soda down your drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes (or overnight), then pour boiling water down to clear out pipes. If you want to take it one step further, you can use some lemon juice after boiling water as well.

5) Cover Up Wounds in Pipes and Fittings

Cover up any open wounds in pipes and fittings by applying pipe dope or Teflon tape. Pipe dope, available at most hardware stores, is a putty-like substance that works as a sealant for cracks in plumbing joints. Apply some to pipe threads before screwing parts together and let it dry before applying more.

7) Don't Use Cold Water On Hot Surfaces

When using a faucet or shower head, always use lukewarm water rather than cold. Cold water on hot pipes can crack them and cause major plumbing problems down the road.

If you're worried about wasting energy and money, invest in a thermostatic mixer valve; it will automatically maintain a comfortable temperature for both hot and cold water.

2) Flush Out The Pipes

When cold weather hits, it’s important to flush out your home’s pipes so that there are no freezing water lines. Heat up some hot water, pour it down every drain in your house and watch how quickly it flows out.

If it drains slower than usual or if you notice any water pooling around faucets or spigots, call a plumber immediately.

4) Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are no fun! Protect your home’s plumbing from damage during frigid winter months by following these simple tips. It only takes a little planning and a few minutes of maintenance to keep plumbing problems at bay all season long.

In other words, you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing everything you can to avoid frozen or burst pipes as we move into colder weather. From turning off outdoor water faucets to insulating indoor plumbing lines, follow proactive measures in order to prevent any frozen or burst pipe disasters before they happen. 

6) Keep Floors Dry

Not only will wet floors pose a slipping hazard, but standing water can cause your home’s foundation to deteriorate. Try to keep your home as dry as possible by using a floor fan to blow air around damp areas.

But if you have no choice but to mop up excess water, it’s best to wait until outside temperatures are above freezing so you don’t freeze any standing water inside your home.

8) Regularly Check You Water Pressure and Timers

As we transition into winter, you should check your water pressure and timers in order to ensure they’re set correctly. This is an easy way to avoid frozen pipes before they happen, which can save you a costly repair job. 

In addition, make sure all outdoor hoses are drained and removed from outdoor faucets. While you’re at it, go ahead and drain your indoor faucets that usually have cold water lines attached. Don’t forget about those kitchen sink hoses either! 


The biggest struggle most people have with their plumbing system is that it breaks when you need it most. At best, a broken system is a huge inconvenience, but at worst it can make your home uninhabitable and cause costly repairs.

You can avoid these issues by preparing your plumbing for winter before you see any problems arise.  

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More on Frozen Pipe Repair and Prevention

If you are looking for more info, see our Frozen Pipe Repair and Prevention Q & A or more Frozen Pipe Repair & Prevention Blogs below! 

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