Frozen pipes are a potential problem every winter. Without the right measures in place, pipes can freeze and burst in subzero temperatures. Don’t let this happen to you. When you know how to prevent and thaw frozen pipes, you can ease your worries on cold nights. If you follow the tips below, it’s very unlikely you’ll ever have frozen pipes.
Here are five tips to follow before temperatures drop below freezing and create an expensive mess in your home.
1. Insulate Interior Pipes
Insulate pipes located in the attic, basement, crawl spaces, and other areas near the exterior of your structure. These areas get colder than the rooms you frequently use. Your local home store has a variety of products you can use, including foam pipe insulation and heat tape. All pipes should be insulated to prevent them from freezing.
2. Drain and Insulate Outside Pipes
Remove hoses attached to outdoor faucets. Drain and store the hoses. Locate inside valves supplying exterior faucets, and close them. With the water shut off, open the faucet and allow it to drain. Insulate the exterior pipe. Keep the faucet open so the remaining water can expand and contract without causing a broken pipe.
3. Open Cabinet Doors
Open the doors on cabinets where pipes are located. This allows the heat from your furnace to circulate in these areas. This includes cabinets in laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and utility areas. When it drops below 21 degrees outside, your pipes are at risk of freezing. You can help prevent them from freezing by opening the cabinet doors under your bathroom and kitchen sink. This allows warm air inside to keep the pipes warmer.
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4. Drip Cold Water From the Faucet on Cold Nights
Allow cold water to drip from faucets inside your home. The trickling movement of the water through the pipes can prevent freezing. If you keep the cold water running at a drip or a trickle, your pipes are less likely to freeze. The constantly flowing water assists in melting any ice that begins forming. We recommend doing this on nights it drops below 21 degrees.
5. Keep the Heat on
Keep your home’s heating system in operation whether you’re at home or away. Skip the nighttime temperature program you may have in place. Allow the heat to operate above 55 degrees day and night to keep pipes warm.
6. Don’t Leave the Garage Doors Open
Whether or not you have water supply lines in the garage, it’s important to keep the doors closed during the winter. Cold air rushing inside the garage will make your pipes more likely to freeze.
What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze
It’s possible albeit unlikely for your pipes to freeze despite your best efforts to prevent this problem from occurring. If your pipes have frozen, check if they have burst. A burst pipe can flood your home. When you can’t find or access the frozen pipe, you’ll need to contact a plumber. [company_name] offers pipe repair for frozen pipes and other problems in Puyallup, Tacoma and the surrounding areas.
As long as your pipes aren’t burst, leave the faucet on until full water flow is restored and apply a safe heating source to the frozen pipe. Ways you can warm the frozen pipe are a space heater, an electric hair dryer, an electric heating pad and hot towels wrapped around the pipe. Don’t use blowtorches, charcoal stoves, kerosene heaters or propane heaters to warm the pipe. Open flames are dangerous and can damage the pipe.
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