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Preparing Your Plumbing For Winter

Nick's Plumbing Live Video Transcription:

You ready for this? Let's pretend that it's cold. We're freezing pipes. Okay. On today's show, preparing your plumbing for winter,

Richard, John Eccles in the flesh. He's been sick a week. I was out before that. A little bit. Glad that we're both back. That's right. So before we get into how we're going to prepare for winter, let's talk about just real briefly about winters in Houston, right? So we're having those. We do have um, a matter of fact. You're right, you're not. No, you're not popular this, but the farmer's Almanac says this should be a pretty devastating winter for the Houston area where you are in farming. That's why we're reading the ALMANAC. I don't have carrots or potatoes, but that's what it says on the city around us. There are some chickens running around, but that's about it. Well, if anybody watches the news, it did say that this is one of the earliest snowfall and freezes and Houston history. So the frigid weather has come early and it should come off and is what they're saying.

So with that being said, we want to go through a few things. Um, first of all, just because it dips right below freezing doesn't mean that everything in your house is going to freeze and explode. And what do you mean? That's what the news tells me. Well, what they're telling you is, and you should take it very seriously because when it does happen, it could be very traumatic. The temperature needs to drop below and stay below freezing for a long time for it just dips below and then heats back up the sound enough time to freeze the amount of water that we're talking about. Unless the temperature is four enough below freezing to speed up that process. Does that make sense? And how does that look? Maybe 25 below that will speed it up. Yeah. But you know, usually we get temps between that 25 and 32 and it's going to take more than 12 hours to freeze your pipes. All right, so now we're really getting danger is it hovers around that 28, 29 all night. The next day it gets up to 32 to 35. That's where we're at. And then boom, the next night it goes back down below that 32. That's when we start getting the phone calls. Yes. And things are breaking left and right. Last year, how many phone calls did we get in? One day?

We were averaging right around a thousand. I think it was for the first day. Second Day went down, I think to close to $600. I know that's really hard to manage you guys. The week of the freeze, we entered more phone calls in that week than we normally do in a month. Yeah. Yeah. It's a lot. Yeah. You know, and that, that honestly wasn't even that bad of a freeze. We had only a couple of days of freezing temperatures, but. Well we don't. We're. Yeah, well we don't want to see is low is below freezing in the highest, barely above freezing. That's step margin where we really get into some gray area and things can go bad and that's when things break. Yeah. So with that being said, let's go over a few tips to help you prevent that. A number one thing, wrap your pipes exposed, piping pipe in the attic, things they're susceptible.

You need to wrap them with insulation. Uh, it's pretty easy to do as long as you grab the right size. Installation is really simple. It has tape on it, it goes around it, tapes together. It's not hard. I mean it's styrofoam almost like you go to the, it is. And if you go to the big box store, you'll, they'll actually have that on the box itself and tell you what size and what it fits because you're out of copper, your out of galvanized and you're out of plastic is different. So on that box it's going to tell you, hey, it's going to fit this size pipe and what type of pipe now. So make sure and get the right one. So your pipe is fully covered. That's important. Yeah. Especially stuff that's out in the elements, a risers to your house, uh, your riser to your sprinklers.

All those things definitely need to because they're out there in the elements of the wind, which, believe it or not, you've heard windchill factor. The wind definitely affects how cold something is, so when you have cold water freezing tims and the wind's blowing on it, that's not a good thing. Um, what if, what if they. What if they get caught in a bad situation? You ever procrastinated? That's my middle name. I procrastinated and I think we both have done this. So let me give you a way to handle this. If the box stores that you're going to don't have any installation left because you're a last last minuter, right? Yeah. You're, you're going in on the twelfth hour going, Oh, I, my hose is undone, my, this is undone and I need some help. Well, if you can't find any products to help you cover and get ready for that evening, wrap a towel around it, dry, we're probably going to get some hate mail telling you to wrap a towel around it.

And that's okay because you know what? We have both wrapped towels around piping that were exposed. What we didn't freeze. Nope. So it does work. It keeps the wind. It keeps that cold bitterness off of, let's say the hose bib and you can even do it with your, uh, sprinkler backflow system. They don't make any covering for that because it's supposed to be open to the atmosphere. And in saying that if you wrap a towel around that, it's going to help you. And that's the number one thing that breaks when it really gets cold for an extended period of time. Is that backflow? Yeah. So I mean, that's how it will work, like Richard saying that something they use in a pinch, it's not the proper or you know, the ideal way to do it, but make sure and take it back off after the freeze when you're in, especially on the back flow when you're in a pinch.

It absolutely works and it is doable. Now in saying that, let's talk about hoses. I'm one of those guys that I kind of get lazy and I've got my. I'm on the end of the hose. I've gotten my, uh, my sprayer, my sprayer, and I have a tendency on leaving my hose, charged with water and when I get home I just pick it up and start spraying some flowers. Right. I've kind of been enjoying that lately. You guys, but you don't do that it when it freezes, what's gonna happen is it's going to break your hose and it could possibly back it up into that hose bib and break it where it's behind the wall. Absolutely. So you want to disconnect that hose and make sure it's drained of water or it's going to freeze and break. That's right. For sure. That's going to be the first thing to go.

Anything to add to that? Is that ever happened to you now? It has happened to me, but I think, I mean it's pretty simple, right? Disconnected. Make, makes your husband's often wrapped and you should be. All right. I'm jumping back to the sprinkled backflows I, Richard said a second ago. That's the number one thing that's going to pop. That's normally the number one thing that's going to burst. We definitely want to make sure those are wrapped and make sure that they're drained. We're not going to go into detail about that, but on our facebook page we have a great step by step blog about how to winterize your backflow, so please check that out if you need that done. It doesn't take long. It's pretty simple, but check that out for detailed instructions in layman's terms, that's draining it down where the water has no opportunity to freeze.

It's actually on our website@nextplumbing.com as well. Okay, so they can get it on both places. It's got a great illustration on how to do it in a simple way, how to do it. Let's talk about inside the house. Now what can we do for some things inside of the house? All that stuff was kind of outdoors, indoors. What are some of the things that we can do? Typically kitchen sinks or an outside wall, right? Some of your plumbing cabinets for as laboratories or on exterior walls. Anything that's on an exterior wall and you're really nervous about it. We're having an extended period of coldness, open up those cabinet doors. Let the ambient heat from your house

permeate into that cabinet. Absolutely. Absolutely. That's going to help that area that normally doesn't have air flow. That's normally shut off from some other things in the house. Get some much needed warm. That'll help a resolve, you know, or at least put off some of that freezing. You know, another thing that you can do, and again, we might get kicked back for this, but you know, leave a little bit of water dripping or running out of your faucets. Again, moving water has less tendency to freeze. Oh man, that, that sounds expensive. Leaving my faucet's dripping. It's a lot cheaper. I guarantee you than the repair. You'd have to pray for a broken pipe. Oh Man. You might be talking about hundreds.

Fight it. Like you said though, it's going to be a lot cheaper to let it drip then pay us to come fix it. It is. It is. It really is. And it really does work. Again though, if you're really a green, green person and don't want to waste that water, these are just tips. These aren't live because if you don't want to do it, you don't have to do it, but again, we're letting you know. It's a good suggestion. It's a good water flowing through the pipes. Help it not from freezing the stagnant water freezes, right? I mean, that's pretty common sense. Absolutely, but man, it's expensive and last but not least, inside your house, leave the heat on a. You definitely want the heat inside of the home to be warm, but helps keep everything else warm. Just like anything else, just like the sun outside, right when the sun comes out and it heats everything up. Well, everything's got to cool off before anything gets cold, the concrete, anything. So everything in your house is going to hold that heat to help keep everything warm and with your plumbing, that does matter, especially when we're talking about the temperatures that we're going to be facing this winter. And what that also means is when you go out of town, don't turn your heat off. Maybe you want to try to save money, don't do it. Leave the heat on a constant temperature,

whether it's 50 or 60. Okay. That's above freezing, right? Put it down, but if we're going to be and you're going out of town and you know we're gonna, have some weather coming up or even if you don't make sure your heat stays on. Yeah, because when you come home and your house is flooded and it's coming out the front door and the back door, it isn't going to be pretty. And how many times have we seen that? That's not good at all. I've seen that a lot, so don't do it. Leave your heat on period. That's it. That's it. That's exactly right. How about anything else that we can tell them? Any tips we can give them? What are you thinking? We told them about the towel. Wrapping it. Wrap your hose bibs with a towel. If you don't have something, wrap the sprinkler, backflow. If you don't have something turned that heat on, make sure it stays on. I think we've done a pretty good job. Good job, Mr. echols on that. I think they're covered now. You just need a little of luck and when you're not, something goes wrong. We're always here for you. That's right. Do you have any questions on how to wrap that towel around the backflow? Call us? We're going to tell you we're experts. Absolutely. Thank you for watching today's show. They see you next week.

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