6 Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Plumbing is a hassle, that’s all there is to it. If you own your home, then you are the one that is in charge of taking care of your plumbing and making sure that is it up to date and functioning properly. This includes taking care of clogged drains, corrosion problems, leaking faucets as well as frozen pipes. Let’s look a little closer at this frozen pipes issue. Winter is coming and has already hit in some places. You need to make sure that you are prepared for the possible cold fronts that are going to arrive this year. Here are a few ways that you can prevent the awful problem known as frozen pipes.
Drain the Water
If you have a swimming pool or water sprinkler, you’ll need to drain all of the water from the supply lines. However, do not put antifreeze in the lines until the manufacturer’s directions say to. It can be very harmful to everyone around. You’ll also need to remove the water from any other hoses that you have and store them so no more water gets in them. Open the hose bibs outside to let the water drain. Don’t bother closing it afterwards because it will allow the pipe to expands without causing pressure.
Install Pipe Sleeves
You might think about installing a product to help insulate the pipes. Pipe sleeves or heat tape are over the counter products that can be bought from hardware or home building stores in order to protect your pipes in the cold. Even something like newspaper could offer a little more protection if the temperatures of your city’s climate do not stay low for very long. However, if you expect a cold winter for the entire season, you might consider a more permanent solution.
Let Water Drip
You might think that this is a problem as far as the utility bill goes but it won’t actually cost you as much as you think. Letting the taps drip during particularly cold times will stop the pipes from freezing. This is because any amount of running water is harder to freeze than standing water. The idea is that it’s not sitting for long enough in the pipes to get cold enough to freeze. As long as it’s moving, even slowly, it’ll be helpful in the prevention process.
Turn on the Heater
The thermostat in your home should be set to the same temperature during the day and the night. If you lower the temperatures during the night time, this could not only cause a higher heating bill because of the fluctuation in temperature but it could also cause your pipes to freeze and break or burst during the cooler times. Even if you are going to be gone during the cold times, leave the heater on at home set to no lower than 55 degrees F. An electric water heater might help also.
Keep the Cold Outside
If your pipes are in the garage, keep the garage door shut as much as possible. You might even consider building a protective layer around the pipes so that you can open the door to take your car in and out as needed. As for the inside of your house, if you have a porch, this is best. Just make sure that both doors are not open at the same time. If you do not have two doors, consider hanging a heavy curtain in the door way so that when the door opens, the cold can’t get past the curtain in to the home very much.
If you are willing to provide even further protection, you might consider talking to a plumber about relocating any of the pipes that are exposed.
It’s better to prevent frozen pipes before the happen. Once your pipes are already frozen over, there are minimal things that you can do in order to thaw them but you will probably need to call a professional out to your home in order to fix the problem. Freezing can cause cracks and breakages in the pipe which makes the issue even worse. This is because frozen water expands and puts pressure on the pipe casing around it. Contact only licensed plumbers in order to take care of these types of problems in your home.