Frozen pipes are more than a minor annoyance. Not only can you not obtain any water when your pipes are frozen, but since water expands when it freezes, frozen pipes often turn into burst pipes, leading to flooding and extensive water damage. This winter, do all that you can to prevent your pipes from freezing by following these steps:
Check the insulation.
Head down into your basement, and take a look at any pipes that are exposed. Pay particular attention to those that run along the wall, as these are the most likely to freeze once temperatures plummet. If these pipes are not already blanketed in a thick layer of insulation, purchase some foam pipe insulation (it comes pre-shaped like a tube with a slit down one side). Place the foam insulation around the pipes, and then use either zip ties or some tape to hold it in place.
If you spot any pipes where the insulation seems to be getting holes in it or slipping off, make sure you replace that insulation, too. It won't do much good if it's not in good shape.
Keep your cupboards open.
In many kitchens, pipes run along the outside wall to the kitchen sink. Especially in older homes with little insulation in the walls, these pipes are prone to freezing since the cupboards are typically kept closed and thus become quite cool. There's a really easy solution to this – leave the cupboard doors open. The heat from the room will then flood in, keeping the pipes from freezing.
Make sure you keep the thermostat dialed up.
With the high cost of energy these days, it can be tempting to turn down the thermostat when you head away for the weekend. However, turning the thermostat down too low may perpetuate freezing of any pipes that are behind walls and not able to be better insulated. Keeping the thermostat set to 55 degrees F when you're away is generally adequate, though if it is extremely cold out (for instance, -10 degrees), you're even safer with the thermostat at 60 degrees F.
Let the cold water drip.
On the coldest of winter days, it's a good idea to let the cold water drip just a little in your sinks. The constant flow of water helps keep the pipes from freezing. There's no need to do this every day, but on those bitter cold days when the wind chill drops well below zero, it's a great extra precaution to take.
Coming home to frozen or burst pipes is never fun! With the tips above, you should never have to face this challenge. Call a plumber if you need help.Share
23 October 2015
Hi everyone, my name is Bonita Ploursa. After living in my first home for several years, I decided the kitchen needed a drastic change. I spent the bulk of my time baking cakes, making candy and canning jam in my kitchen. However, cleanup was a nightmare due to the lack of a dishwasher. Furthermore, my sink area could only fit one small pot, which made it impossible to wash out my cookware. I hired a plumber to help route lines for a dishwasher and replace the sink. I also had my plumber install a nice garbage disposal in the sink. The process took very little time and no effort on my part. I would like to discuss this upgrade, and others like it, on my website. I will explore the various ways plumbers move pipes and install appliances throughout the kitchen.