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Simple tips to winterize your home's plumbing

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Ensure your plumbing is ready for the cold season ahead.

With the temperatures dropping and colder months ahead, it’s important to make sure the inner workings of your home are running efficiently, but some tasks may seem daunting. Plumbing can be one of the most intimidating areas of home maintenance and it can also be one of the most costly.

Frozen pipes is one of the most common problems homeowners encounter during the winter, and there are simple things that can be done to avoid this from occurring. Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas at Enercare Home Services, offers these simple tips to help keep your plumbing working efficiently, even in the coldest months:

1. Avoid freezing pipes

Take some time to insulate your plumbing. Look for cracks in insulation surrounding the basement wall, attic, crawl spaces and garage, and use pipe covers or expandable foam insulation to fill them. This will keep cold wind from affecting your pipes.1

2. Fix leaking faucets

Make sure to fix leaking taps right away because just one leaking faucet can waste almost 130 litres per year.2

3. Prepare outdoor water faucets

It’s important to prepare your faucets for winter. By disconnecting the hose, turning off the inside shut off-valve, and leaving the outside faucet in the "on" position for the winter, you will release the pressure in your pipes, and help prevent any potential issues.3

4. Get familiar with your plumbing system

Make sure you know where your main waterline valve is so that you are prepared if any problems arise.4

5. Prepare your home before you go on vacation

If you’re planning to be away for an extended period of time, make sure to turn the water off at the main service valve and open the taps to drain water from your plumbing in case temperatures drop while you’re gone. It’s also a good idea to ask a neighbour to check on your home periodically.5


Click here for more simple home efficiency tips.


The following websites provide further information to the tips listed above: (please click on water heater under energy conservation for your home)


Enercare | Plumbing Tips Winter

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The contents of this webpage are provided for general informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability or accuracy of the information as it relates to your circumstances. Any action you take upon the information provided is strictly at your own risk. This information is not a substitute for, and is not intended to replace, independent professional advice. It is your responsibility to take all safety precautions and to refer to the product manufacturer's instructions or contact a licensed technician, as appropriate.