Preventing Frozen Pipes When Temperatures Drop
Did you know? One of the messiest and most costly homeowner repairs is fixing a burst frozen pipe. Water from a burst pipe can cause damage to carpeting, short out electrical appliances and ruin furniture. Water expands as it freezes and puts significant pressure on the metal or plastic pipes that hold it. Pipes that are exposed to extreme cold can burst when water expands; these include outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in basements, attics and garages. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to help prevent frozen pipes.
Tips to prevent frozen pipes:
- Keep your garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors; this will allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Let cold water drip from the faucets to keep water moving within the pipes.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night.
- If you are planning to take a trip when the weather is cold at home, leave the heat on in your home and set the temperature to no lower than 55° F.
- Insulate pipes in unheated interior areas, such as crawl spaces and attics.
- Wrap pipes in heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables.
- 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.