I can’t count how many time I warn people about frozen pipes and tell them how to prevent it. Yet, every year people are shocked when their pipes freeze!
This is the time of year when freezes can happen on any given day. especially overnight. If that happens, you could have a major mess on your hands! That’s because water expands as pipes freeze, often causing pipes to burst. The results can be devastating. Even with insurance coverage, the inconvenience is terrible.
So, once again let’s go over ways to prevent freezing pipes.
- Fix troubled areas. If you know there are pipes that tend to freeze, use thermostatic heat wire. You can leave this wire plugged-in all year because the wire automatically warms up as temperatures drop.
- Insulate, insulate, insulate! Pipes inside, or up against, exterior walls need protection from severe temperatures. Therefore, you need to insulate those pipes. When doing so, make sure you insulate all around the pipe, instead of simply laying insulation over the pipe up against the wall. Doing that can do more harm than good because it traps those pipes in cold space near the wall.
- Use heat wire. The new-style heat wire is fabulous. No longer do you need to mess with bulky flat heat-tape, with a thermostat attached the the cord! The new-style wire is just a wire that automatically warms up only when temps are close to freezing or colder. The wire is easy to work with and easily winds around problem areas on pipe. You should use it wherever your pipes do not get heat from the home. That could be a crawl space, sections of your basement or cold spots near your floor or along exterior walls.
- Disconnect Hoses. No matter what kind of new “drain-back” hose spigots you have, they will freeze if a hose is attached! That’s because water gets trapped by the hose. So don’t chance it! disconnect hoses completely! Making them lose so they leak out excess water is not good enough.
- Open sink cabinet doors. In extreme cases of freezing temperatures, leaving the sink cabinet doors open serves as an extra precaution to keep warm air flowing to water supply lines.
- Drip, drip, drip! If you have a problem faucet that seems to slow down and sometimes freeze in the extreme cold, the above measures should prevent it from freezing. But to have an extra measure of safety, you can leave the facet “cracked” a bit to let the water drip. Moving water does slow down and often prevents freezing.
Not all frozen pipes split. However, if the pipe is split as a result of a freeze, the real mess comes after they thaw out. So be on the lookout if any of your pipes freeze. A quick reaction in turning off the water supply could prevent a lot of damage.
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