When Temperatures Drop, Prevent Frozen Pipes
Temperatures are falling, and as they get close to 20 degrees or below, the risk of frozen plumbing pipes increases dramatically. Frozen pipes block access to your water supply and can be the source of serious water damage in your home if they burst and leak. Here are some easy-to-apply ways to prevent frozen pipes this winter.
- Insulate: Make sure your water pipes are thoroughly insulated to help prevent freezing. Check with your hardware store or HVAC supplier for pre-made insulating sheaths that can easily fit around pipes. Alternatively, wrap them with layers of standard blanket-style insulation. Pay particular attention to pipes in areas of your home that may not be well heated, such as unfinished basements, crawl spaces and garages.
- Put on heating tapes: Heating tapes are lengths of wiring containing heating elements that keep pipes warm and free of ice. Heat tapes should be wrapped around your pipes according to the manufacturer’s instructions and plugged into a standard electrical outlet. They will prevent frozen pipes and stop ice buildup.
- Seal areas to keep in the heat: Find areas where cold air can get into your home and to your pipes and seal them. Check the attic, basement, walls, foundations, crawl spaces and anywhere else you have pipes that could freeze. Keeping cold air out decreases the chances of freezing.
- Open cabinet doors: When temperatures get low, open the doors under your sinks. This will allow more indoor heat to get to the pipes under the sink and provide additional protection from freezing.
- Run a little water: Another precaution to take when temperatures plunge is to turn on your sink and bathroom faucets to run a thin stream of cold water. This keeps water flowing through the pipes, decreases pressure in the waterline and helps prevent frozen pipes.
Contact us today for more information on what you can to do to prevent frozen pipes this winter and keep your water flowing and your home safe from water damage.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image credit: Sterlic