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Of course, it depends on where you live, but if the temperature gets below freezing, and stays there for several days, it’s a good idea to take a few steps to help keep things from freezing up.

Hose bibs. Detach the hose. Even for no-frost hosebibs, when the weather gets cold, take off the hose. If you don’t have a no-frost hosebib, insulate your hosebib, by wrapping it or covering it with the insulators found at hardware and home improvement store.

Garage pipes and insulation. If you have pipes running through your garage, they should be insulated, as most garages are not heated nor insulated and can get cold enough to freeze pipes. Hosebibs that run out through garage walls should be shut off (assuming they are set up to have a separate shut-off valve) and drained for winter. Shut off at the shut-off valve, open the faucet valve and let the pipe drain. If there is a separate waste-out plug, open that to drain the faucet itself. Don’t lose the plug!

Outdoor kitchens. With the growing popularity of outdoor kitchens, winterizing is important to remember. Again, piping to outdoor kitchens should be set up with a shut-off valve. The valve needs to be shut off and the pipes drained before cold weather sets in.

Many of the new tankless water heaters are being installed outside of the home. They too can freeze because they are used intermittently. They must be insulated to avoid frozen pipes during the winter.

Sprinkler systems. Like other outdoor plumbing, your sprinkler system needs to be shut down and drained for winter. Shut off the water, then blow air through the arms of the sprinkler system to clear the pipes of water.

Frozen pipes. If, despite your best efforts, your pipes do freeze, you may be unaware of it until the weather warms up. Once thawing sets in, pipes that split because of ice expansion, will start leaking profusely. Call the plumber. The leaking section of pipe will need to be cut out and replaced.

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