Frozen pipes not only disrupt daily life, they can also be expensive to repair. Water expands as it freezes, and when combined with extreme pressure, can cause pipes to burst. Generally, pipes that are exposed to outdoor temperatures freeze more readily, such as hose bibs, swimming pool lines and water sprinkler lines. Pipes that run along exterior walls in the home with minimal insulation also tend to freeze more easily. Read on for some hints to help keep your pipes from freezing.
You can take precautions to prevent frozen pipes in your home before the temperature drops outside and during frigid months of the year. Use the following recommendations:
- Insulate pipes in unheated interior areas, such as crawl spaces and attics.
- Wrap pipes in heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables, if permitted by the authority holding jurisdiction.
- Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warm air.
- Seal any leaks with caulk or insulation.
- Disconnect outdoor items such as hoses and faucets.
- Shut off these items completely using an indoor valve and allow the excess water to drain out.
- Do not use antifreeze on these items, as it is environmentally harmful.
- Trickle a little water out of your faucets periodically to keep water moving within the pipes.
- Keep your garage door closed if there is a water supply in there.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and night. If you lower the temperature of your home at night, you risk freezing your pipes, even though your heating bills may be a bit higher.
- Do not set your thermostat lower than 55° F when going on vacation. Ask someone to periodically check the temperature in your home while you are away.
Thank you for reading. Stay warm, safe and dry.