Winter Plumbing Maintenance List

Being prepared for winter plumbing issues is a job for every homeowner.  Winter brings with it both rain and freezing temperatures that can wreck your pipes. 

Use our winter plumbing tips below to prepare your home for the upcoming winter season. 

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Winter Plumbing 11 Top Issues and Tips 

Here are the top winter plumbing problems we believe every homeowner should look into before winter comes. 

Winter Plumbing: How do I Prepare my Plumbing for Winter? 

  1. Prep water heater 
  2. Get a plumbing inspection 
  3. Get your drains inspected 
  4. Clear out your drains, gutters and downspouts 
  5. Install Frost free sillcock
  6. Seal around where pipes connect to walls (rim joists) 
  7. Shut off water to the entire house if leaving town
  8. Take care of Outdoor Plumbing
  9. Insulate pipes 
  10. Clear out any slow running drains and pipes 
  11. Check your sump pump   

Winter Plumbing Tips Explained

Prep Water Heater

Inspect your hot water heater for any leaks.  How old is your water heater?  It might be time to proactively replace it.  Turn down the temperature to save yourself some cash on electricity to heat the water and even extend the life of the heating element inside. 

Get a plumbing inspection 

When in doubt, you can always rely on your local plumber to give you a full home inspection and solve any issues before they start. 

Get your drains inspected 

A drainage inspection before the big fall and winter storms come in is a must.  Too much rain can cause your drains to back up, fail, and flood your yard or worse your house. Owing your own drain camera means you could do this at home yourself and save some money.

Clear out your drains, gutters and downspouts 

Water wants to run to the lowest spot and that means from your roof, through the gutters, and down your downspouts.  Remove any debris, birds nests, etc., from your gutters to prevent any flooding. 

Install Frost free sill cocks (hose bibs)

These bad boys can save you if you forget to turn off the water to the outside taps. They prevent the cold air from freezing your pipes because the valve and stem washer are inside your house, instead of outside.

Seal around where pipes connect to walls (rim joists) 

Sealing the areas where cold air can get in can prevent your pipes from freezing and save you some cash on your heating bill. This also keeps bugs and rodents from getting inside your home as they will be looking for a warm place.

Take care of Outdoor Plumbing 

Shut off outdoor faucets to prevent leaks and freezing. They disconnect, drain, and remove hoses. Also, cover your hose bibs with insulated covers. 

Shut off water to your house if going on vacation

Stop flooding before it starts. Shut off the water to your entire home if no one is going to be home for an extended period of time. I’ve seen homes flooded and the owner not being there for 3 weeks after it flooded. And remember, most home insurance policies do not cover flood damage; that is a separate insurance you must buy.

Insulate pipes 

Pipe insulation is very affordable and will help to make sure that your pipes don’t freeze in the cold weather.  Insulating your hot water pipes will prevent heat loss and save you some cash on heating hot water. 

Clear out any slow running drains and pipes 

Prevent clogs and backups before they happen by using the best drain auger to clean out all your pipes and drains. 

Check your sump pump   

Run the pump to make sure it’s working.  To do this, fill the area with the sump pump with water until it turns on.  If your sump pump doesn’t get rid of all of the water, it’s time for a repair or a replacement.  It tends to rain a lot in fall and early winter months and you want to be ready with a working sump pump to protect your home from flooding. 


We hope that our Top Winter Plumbing Tips help you get your home ready for the upcoming winter season without too much hassle!