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Winterizing Your Home

Winter in Chicago!

Well, our first freeze of the year is coming, and many of you ask, "How do I best avoid a plumbing crisis due to freezing?"

There are 2 suggestions I always give when asked this question, depending on whether you are home or planning a trip:

1) IF YOU ARE LEAVING TOWN and believe it will be colder than 30 degrees while you are away, turn off all your water and open all your faucets in and outside the house. Leave them open while you are away; when you return, leave your outside faucets and bathtubs open and close all lavatory and kitchen faucets; turn the water back on. This allows debris to be flushed out of your system;

2) IF YOU ARE HOME during a freeze, any outside faucets and fixtures that are on an outside wall (usually tubs) need to be opened up very slowly, mixing hot and cold water. AN ALTERNATIVE to this is to open your attic door allowing heat into your attic space. Because it gets coldest at the eave of the house, dripping faucets will maintain water movement and better prevent freezing. I have found the old adage "moving water doesn't freeze, and if it does, it wasn't moving fast enough," is true.

And, be aware, water can freeze and thaw inside your pipes, and not cause a break. So, last but not least, PRAY that nothing ever breaks in your house!

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