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How to Winterize Your Plumbing Pipes to Prevent Damage in Big Bear Home?

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


As winter intensifies, you will need to take care of a few things to make sure your family is comfortable throughout the cold season. Apart from your heating system, you will also need to protect your pipes from the cold weather. The process of preparing the household plumbing for freezing temperatures is popularly known as winterizing.

As the water in your plumbing system turns to ice, it expands, causing damage to the pipes. Winterizing is a must if your house will be vacant for long without any water running through the pipes. It is an excellent way to avoid water leaks and avoid a last-minute online hunt for 24-hour plumbing near me.

Here are a few winterizing tips to protect your plumbing from the cold season.

Insulate Pipes

Insulation is probably the best way to winterize your pipes. You can cover both hot and cold-water pipes. While the insulation will keep cold water pipes from freezing, it will keep hot-water pipes warm, reducing your energy bills.

If you are a DIY-er, you can get the tools and the insulation from the nearest hardware store. You can get the insulation in the form of wraps or foam-rubber sleeves. It is easier to install the sleeves. However, if you are buying foam-rubber sleeves, make sure to measure the outside diameter of your pipes to buy the correct size.

You can also hire a skilled Big Bear Plumber for this job. Although a little expensive, the quality of insulation by professionals far outweighs a DIY job. This type of pipe insulation can last relatively longer.

Shut off Crawl Space Ventilators

Most houses with crawl space have ventilators that allow moist and hot air to flow out. They also provide your home with fresh air. During winter, however, cold air will come in through the vents, freezing the pipes. That’s why you should shut off all the vents in your crawlspace.

You can use cardboard or wooden sheets to cover the vents. You can also use firm polystyrene foam, if possible. Make sure to cut the sheets at least a few inches larger than the size of the vents. It will keep the cold air from flowing in. However, don’t forget to open the ventilators once winter is over.

Drain and Insulate Hose Bibs

A hose bib is an outdoor water tap where you can connect your garden hose. Unfortunately, when winterizing, most people forget about the hose bibs. As the temperature goes down, freezing can cause the hose bibs to burst.

Make sure to disconnect all the hoses and turn off the main water valve. Next, open all hose bibs to let any remaining water out. Once you have drained all the water, close the bleeder cap on the valve and leave it.

You can also cover the hose bibs with slip-over insulation sleeves to prevent freezing. Frost-proof hose bibs are also available in the market. However, you should still drain these bibs before the winter to avoid any potential damage. If you call a professional Big Bear plumber for an insulation job, they will take care of your hose bibs as well.

Keep the Cabinet Doors Open

If your sink cabinet is facing against the exterior wall, the pipe will most likely freeze during winter. However, if you turn on the heat inside your home and leave the cabinet doors open, you can keep your sink pipes from freezing.

You can also use an electrical heater to keep the under-sink plumbing from freezing. Open the cabinet doors and place the electric heater in front of the cabinet. Make sure warm air is flowing into the cabinet.

Create a Constant Faucet Drip

Another easy winterizing trick that doesn’t always require you to call a Big Bear plumber is to leave one of your faucets on a slow drip. When you create a constant drip, around five-to-ten drops per minute, the water will keep flowing through the pipes. As the water keeps flowing, it will prevent the pipes from freezing.

You can choose one faucet from the kitchen sink, shower, bathroom sink, and other plumbing fixtures. However, it is best to choose a faucet aligning the outside wall or a room without any heating source as they are more likely to freeze.

You also need to start the dripping before the freezing temperatures set in. If you are going out of town, make sure the dripping faucet is far away from your main water inlet. This simple trick will ensure your entire rough-in plumbing remains protected from freezing.

Provide Heating

If the insulation and other winterizing tricks aren’t enough, you can try using an electric heat cable. You can get these cables at the nearest hardware store. You can either wrap the cable around the pipes or run it along their length, depending on the type of cable you choose.

Once you have installed the cable, plug it into the electrical outlet and turn it on to keep the pipes warm. They are easy to install, but you can call a Big Bear plumber if needed.

You can also keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night to reduce the chances of your pipes freezing. However, if your house will be vacant for the winter, an electric heat cable or electric space heater will be a much better and cost-effective solution.

Get Professional Pre-Winter Tune-up

While these DIY winterizing tricks can help, it is still a great idea to have your plumbing inspected by a professional Big Bear plumber. Licensed plumbers can help you identify any potential problems and repair them before the winter.

You can call your regular plumber, or perform simple 24-hour plumbing near me search to find a reliable local plumber. Make sure to conduct a thorough inspection and tune-up to avoid expensive emergency repairs during harsh winter conditions.


Your plumbing is at the risk of freezing and developing cracks or leaks as the temperature drops during winter. These simple tricks can help you winterize your plumbing and prevent expensive emergency repairs. If you are still unsure about protecting your pipes during winter, you can talk to a certified plumber. Whatever you decide, make sure to do it before the winter sets in every year.

Schedule an Appointment with the Best Big Bear Plumber Today!

Big Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating is your go-to service provider for any plumbing-related problem, ranging from repairs and replacements to new installations. We offer prompt and professional services. Call us on (909) 584-4376 or contact us online to know how we can help.

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.