Preventing Frozen Pipes – The Dos and Don’ts
Winter weather brings a variety of threats to your home, including frozen pipes. To prevent damage from freezing temperatures, it’s important to take the right precautions. This helpful guide provides tips on how to prevent frozen pipes.
Identify areas where pipes are most likely to freeze
It’s important to determine where the pipes that could freeze are located in your home. Look for exposed piping on outside walls and any unheated areas of the home. Crawl spaces, basements, attics, garages and under sink areas fall into this category. Insulate any exposed pipes in these vulnerable locations with heat tape or foam pipe insulation to help protect from freezing temperatures.
Keep temperatures consistent in your home when temperatures drop
Don’t lower your thermostat while you’re asleep or away from home during freezing temperatures. The cost of water damage from a burst pipe is probably way higher than the small amount you’d save turning your heat down.
Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses or install insulated covers on outdoor faucets
If you leave a hose connected to your outdoor faucet, water inside the pipes may freeze and can cause interior or exterior damage if a frozen pipe bursts. To avoid this, disconnect your hose and drain any remaining water out of it before temperatures drop. Consider installing an insulated cover for your outdoor faucets. This will help keep them warmer and decrease the risk of frozen pipes.
Let faucets drip when temperatures drop below freezing
You can prevent frozen pipes by letting water drip from your faucets. Moving water is less likely to freeze. A small, steady flow of water can prevent ice from forming in your pipes. Make sure it’s only a small drip to not waste too much water, and turn off the dripping once temperatures rise again. Open cabinet doors near pipes that could be at risk of freezing. This will let warm air get to these pipes and drains that are not directly exposed to heating and help keep them from freezing.
Know where the water supply shut-off to your home is
If a pipe bursts it can cause a lot of water damage. At the least, you should know where your main shut-off is and how to turn it off. Other water pipes may shutoffs close to the fixture, learn where they are. The bottom line is to be familiar with where your shut-offs are in case of an emergency.
Use heat sources that could cause more damage
Charcoal and gas grills are meant to be used in well ventilated areas, don’t bring them into a closed space to thaw pipes, dangerous fumes are possible. Don’t use blowtorches on frozen pipes, they can cause the pipe to burst or weaken soldered joints and connections. Blow torches used in small spaces can cause a fire.
Need help fixing or preventing frozen pipes, call Donnelly’s!
Our friendly plumbers will come to your home and work with you to solve your frozen pipe problems or concerns. Donnelly’s promises 100% satisfaction on all plumbing services we provide.
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