Only a couple of weeks until it is officially winter—but, we have already felt it in the air with the cooler temperature, at times reaching below zero. When water freezes and becomes ice, it expands, causing pressure within pipes. This can lead to significant damage, and increased and unexpected cost to repair, which could have been avoided.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to get your home plumbing system prepared for the winter season.

Here’s how!

Hose Bibs:

  • Disconnect hoses from outside taps.
  • Check all hose bibs and other fixtures for leaks.
  • If you find any drips or leaks, replace the fixture(s).
  • You may want to purchase a freeze-proof hose bib, as they are made to keep the water far away from the end of the spigot.
  • Drain your outdoor faucets if you have a hose bib that is not freeze-proof (not necessary if you have a freeze-proof hose bib).
  • Purchase a hose bib cover—even if you have a freeze-proof hose bib. They are made of thick foam and keep most of the cold away from the valve.

Signs to Watch for with Frozen Pipes

  • When the temperature is 0 degree Celsius or lower, this is when pipes may freeze.
  • If there is a lack of running water from your faucet, this could be a sign of frozen pipes.
  • You notice some frost on pipes that are visible.
  • What stinks?! You may notice a bad smell coming from your faucet. This could mean a frozen pipe, because the only way the odor can escape is back up through your drain.

Indoor Drains

  • To prevent your indoor drains from clogging, clean them following this do-it-yourself method (watch video).
  • If an indoor drain is clogged, check that the tub’s pop-up stopper is opening fully and is free of hair and debris. If the stopper is not the problem, then the drainpipe is likely clogged.
  • Try a plunger.
  • If using a plunger does not work, then you’ll need to clear the trap with a snake.
  • You may be comfortable trying this on your own—but if you try it, and it still does not clear, or if you are not comfortable snaking a drain, then give us a call and let us step in!

Need some plumbing support this winter? Get in touch with JJ’s Plumbing by emailing us at or calling 604-479-2232.