Ottawa is known for its harsh winters. The temperatures can go below -30°C and the city has over 100 days of snowfall annually with most of it coming in January and February. This may make it seem like your pipes are doomed but there are some easy steps you can take to ensure that they’re prepared for winter this year.
How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter in Ottawa Ontario? Let’s start with the basics: thawing and draining.
1. Thaw frozen pipes.
When you’re winterizing your property, there’s a couple of easy jobs that just about anyone can do to help protect their plumbing from freezing or bursting. Thawing out frozen pipes is one such simple job and should be done if it ever gets below -8°C outside if the water isn’t already running through those pipes. Simply open up your nearest faucet completely until the ice starts to break away and run some warm water over the exterior faucets as well to avoid them locking up at an inopportune time.
If you have a case where it’s too cold for even that method to work, then try letting a kettle full of boiling water run through the pipes instead.
2. Take care of exposed pipes.
If you have any exposed pipes, make sure to thaw them out before the cold weather hits. This can be done with a hair dryer, space heater, or even by wrapping them in towels soaked in hot water. Once they’re thawed, open up the faucets to let any water that’s left in the pipes drain out.
3. Drain your home’s plumbing system.
Another easy way to winterize your plumbing is by draining it. This process will protect your exterior and interior pipes from freezing or bursting as well as help prevent any sediment buildup that may occur. To drain your home’s pipes, simply open up all the faucets in every room of the house. Don’t worry about turning them off afterwards because you can always turn them back on before use if they have been drained properly.
4. Insulate your pipes.
This will help keep them warm and prevent them from freezing. You can find pipe insulation at most hardware stores. Just cut it to size and wrap it around the exposed pipes.
5. Clean up potential hazards.
Something else you should look at doing is packing down anything around your property that could damage those exterior faucets such as salt deposits, shovels, and snow blowers. These items can do a number on even metal construction so it would be best to relocate these items before winter.
6. Check your downspouts.
This step to ensuring your home’s plumbing is winterized is a little bit more of a hassle, but it will be worth it in the end. You need to check that all of your downspouts are clear and working properly so that they’re not going to freeze up during the winter months and cause any damage to your exterior piping.
7. Maintain sump pumps.
Another thing you can do is check for any sump pump backups or other water backup issues around your property so you can fix them beforehand as well. This will greatly help reduce any chances of water damage from occurring once the warm summer days have passed come fall.
8. Planning ahead for emergencies.
Finally, make sure you know where your main water shut-off valve is. This is the valve that you’ll use to turn off the water in case of a plumbing emergency.
In conclusion, if you follow these steps before winter arrives this year then you should have no problem protecting those pipes from freezing or bursting during this harsh Ottawa winter. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask a professional.
Best of luck and happy winterizing!