How to prevent frozen pipes?
In recent years, weather seems to be going extreme. And when we are nearing winter, you need to be prepared to face the plummeting temperature. One of the many problems you are going to deal with is frozen pipes. So, instead of waiting for the disaster to strike, learn how to avoid frozen pipes in winter with the following 10 prevention tips for the same purpose.
10 Prevention Tips for Frozen Pipes in Winter
- The pipes running to kitchen sink may be placed on exterior wall that are not insulated, this makes the pipes susceptible to cold weather. To avoid having frozen pipes, one thing you can do is to keep the cabinet doors under sinks as well as storage areas along the wall open. This will help circulate the heat in the room around the pipes.
- Another thing you could do if the temperature drops significantly is to put an electric heater in front of the open cabinets and other exposed pipes vulnerable to freezing winter; drastic time calls for drastic measure. Keep in mind you are using the heater not to make the whole room warm and comfortable, but to prevent the water in the pipes from freezing.
- Before the temperature drops, insulate all exposed pipes outside the house, in garages and any unheated space indoor. Look for the pipes that are exposed and you think may freeze in winter. Wrap them with heat tape or heat cables controlled by the thermostat. There are different kinds of heat tapes and heat cables, so, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use them.
- Insulate exposed pipes in large areas like in crawl space and the attic along with hard to reach places, where pipes are not properly protected with fiberglass. You don’t need to worry about what it looks, just get unfaced fiberglass insulation from the store and safeguard the pipes from freezing cold in winter. Have some blocks of foam insulation on hand to close-off foundation vents that make its way to crawl spaces.
- Let the hot and cold water drip in night. But, remember to place a bowl or a pan to collect the water. If you don’t, the water will run into the drain where the pipes are exposed to extreme cold. As a result, the pipe lines may freeze.
- Even if there is no one in the house, set the thermostat to at least 55°F to keep the house warm enough and not to let the pipes freeze.
- When you are not in the house or when you go to sleep, always shut off the main water valve. This is to minimize flooding in case a pipe freezes and breaks. You will only need to deal with the spilled water remaining on the pipes.
- In case the frozen pipe breaks there will be flooding and to prevent & stop more flooding you need to inform all members of the family where the main water valve is, so that they can turn off the main water supply to the house on time in your absence.
- Also get a reliable plumbing service provider in your area to have an inspection, if you suspect any blockage or frozen pipes as the water flow will be quiet slow. You can get everything done before any damage is done.
- You are better off keeping a temporary patch kit to seal leaks and broken pipes. This will buy you some time to find a trustworthy plumbing service provider near you to have it repaired or replaced as per requirement in good weather conditions.
If the pipes do freeze, here’s what you can do
Shut down the main water line first to lower the pressure on frozen pipes and in case the pipes breaks, there will be less flooding.
For the exposed frozen pipes you can use a hair dryer to thaw the ice buildup. You may be tempted to thaw the frozen pipes using open flame, NEVER do that!
If the pipes in cramped and confined spaces get frozen, contact the professional plumbing service near you to help you out. They have the expertise and equipment to perform the task at hand carefully.
Now that you know how to prevent frozen pipes, be prepared this winter. And, remember to keep contact details of your plumber on hand who are able to deal with frozen pipes, for the worst case scenario..