Prevent Freezing Pipes With These Steps
One of the most dreaded plumbing disasters is finding that your pipes have frozen during a cold snap in the winter. Frozen pipes can burst, creating a major plumbing problem that needs to be fixed quickly in order to restore water service. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to prevent freezing pipes, and the time and materials required are well worth the effort and expense.
Before A Freeze
- Insulate the pipes that run through the attic or crawl space. You can either add insulation to these spaces themselves or insulate the pipes by covering them with pipe sleeves or wrapping them with insulation. Tie the insulation at intervals to keep it sealed around the pipes.
- Consider heat tape or cables. Always make sure that the tape you purchase has the UL approval notice on it. When installing the tape to prevent freezing pipes, be sure you follow the instructions closely to prevent fires.
- Look under your bathroom vanities and kitchen sink to find places where cold air may be entering your home around pipes or electrical connections. Use caulk, expanding spray foam or loose insulation to plug the holes.
- Disconnect the outdoor hoses and drain the outdoor pipes and faucets to prevent frozen pipes outdoors.
During A Cold Snap
- Keep your home warmer than 55 degrees, even if you leave the Wilmington area for the winter. Although it adds to your utility bill, the cost of repairing plumbing problems can be substantial.
- Open cabinet doors at night when extremely cold weather is in the forecast. The warmer air from your home helps keep the pipes warmer, especially those that sit on exterior walls.
- Let a hot water faucet trickle overnight. One that sits next to an exterior wall would provide the best protection from freezing pipes. Although this is not a foolproof way to prevent frozen pipes, it does reduce the odds.
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Image Credit: kevin dooley