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How to Winterize Your Plumbing to Prevent Damage

Now that the weather is getting colder, it’s time to start thinking about those chores around the house you need to get done before the first snowfall.

Cleaning out the gutters, disconnecting your garden hoses… every year we make a list of winterization chores. Is winterizing your home’s plumbing on that list?

If not, it should be!

Winterizing your pipes is a chore, yes, but it’s one that could prevent costly damage to your pipes and water heater if freezing temperatures cause leaks and breaks. If you own a summer home or cottage and won’t be in the building for the winter, it’s especially important to take these steps.

The Winterization Process

Make yourself a checklist of all your home’s plumbing parts including: taps, valves, pipes, and your water heater. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Shut off the main water valve, and then turn off the water pump and water heater.
  2. Open all drain valves and all taps. Make sure you have a list of all the taps in your home so you can be sure they’re all open. One closed tap could cause a vacuum that will hold water inside the pipes. Your valves and taps should remain open throughout the winter.
  3. Using air compressors, blow air out of all the pipes. (Tip: you can also do this step for your garden hoses to make sure there’s no water left inside before storing them for the winter!)

Preventing Freezing Pipes

If you’re going to be in your home for the winter and want to be sure none of your pipes freeze during those cold stretches, there are some additional steps you can take to prevent freezing and cracking.

First, look for pipes located outside walls and windows, uninsulated pipes, and pipes installed near unheated spaces. Check your floors, walls, and ceilings for cracks or openings. If you find any, caulk them to keep cold air from coming in.


  1. Insulate pipes with insulation sleeves
  2. Examine the home’s exterior and make sure all visible cracks are sealed
  3. Maintain a heating source inside to protect pipes against the cold
  4. On super cold days, it’s a good idea to maintain a faucet dripping, allowing water to move continuously, preventing it from freezing.

Need More Help Winterizing Your Plumbing and Water Heaters in Ann Arbor?

Worried that you may have a leaking water heater? Don't just write it off--let us make sure you need a replacement. In some cases we find a water heater with a leak somewhere besides the tank and it doesn't need to be replaced. However, if that's not the case, we provide installation and replacement for new water heaters.

We believe what this business is really about is serving you, the customer. It's important to us that even in an emergency, we are there for you. Our first goal is for our customers at the end of each job to know that we gave our all to meet their plumbing needs. We want each customer to feel like they could refer us to friends and family because you are our greatest advertisement! Contact us today.

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