Jan 06 , 2023
Brrr! Winter is officially here… icy, chilly winter. And along with the winter holidays, baked goods and presents, you can expect a number of warnings about burst pipes in water systems and how to prevent them. This can be slightly complicated if you have a water filtration system in the mix. We get it: The thought of winter plumbing issues is enough to put the deep freeze on any fuzzy winter feelings. But don’t fret: With the right preparation, you won’t have anything to worry about.
Why do I need to prepare?
Blame it on physics, but a failure to winterize your system can be expensive and messy. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius, water will freeze. When it freezes, it becomes denser and expands, pushing against its container. In fact, frozen water can exert over 43,000 psi on its container. (For contrast, the earth’s atmospheric pressure is only 14.69 psi.) If a pipe in your water system freezes, it has to contend with not only the blockage’s pressure, but also the pressure from water further down the pipe. When this happens, the pipe will burst. At this point, you’ve got a plumbing and property damage nightmare on your hands. And if that pipe is part of your water filtration system, your unit will be severely damaged.
How can I prepare my filtration system for winter?
Luckily, the worst-case scenario above is easily avoidable! Here are a few tips to ensure that your winter is free of plumbing issues.
- Start by cold-proofing the space where your unit is stored. Sometimes, the simplest fixes can be the most effective. Thankfully, ensuring that your unit won’t be affected by drafts or overly cold conditions will go a long way toward protecting your filtration system and your plumbing system as a whole. Use caulk, expanding foam and/or weather stripping to plug holes that let cold air in.
- Insulate your pipes. Don’t limit weatherproofing to walls, windows, floors and ceilings. Protect your pipes, too! Pipes can be wrapped with insulation made of fiberglass or foam rubber to give them a little extra protection from freezing. Be sure to secure with zip ties, duct tape or cable.
- Let your faucets drip. Here’s another tip from the fascinating world of physics. Although moving water can help prevent it from freezing at certain temperatures, when extreme temperatures are reached, even moving water will freeze. By allowing water to move through pipes, you can’t prevent freezing, but you can relieve excess pressure when pipes thaw. This helps prevent burst pipes.
- If you’re leaving home for longer than a week, drain your filter. If you’re lucky enough to escape your chilly home to see family or soak up some rays, there is a higher risk that your pipes may freeze, and you won’t be around to do anything about it. If this is the case, you will want to disconnect your filtration system and allow it to drain. When you come back, hook your system back up and flush your pipes to ensure clean water.
The consequences of winter pipe and plumbing issues can be serious. However, with these tips and a little elbow grease, you’re more than prepared for anything the winter blows your way. If you have specific questions about our water filtration systems, you can contact us at 1-855-957-2166 or at our contact page here.