If you live in an area where the temperature drops below freezing, it’s essential to take precautions to prevent your pipes from freezing. Pipes freezing is a significant issue, especially when it comes to water supply lines for your home. If this freeze and end up rupturing in the cold weather, you could be faced with a highly costly repair job.
To help prevent this, here are eight quick and easy tips for keeping your pipes from freezing during the cold winter months.
1. Let the Water Run
When it’s freezing outside, shut off all of your faucets except for one or two that you regularly use (tub/shower, kitchen sink, washing machine). Open a door between these rooms so that heat can travel throughout the house and warm up your plumbing system.
This will keep water moving through the pipes and reduce pressure on them as they’re trying to expand where there is no heat–like inside a refrigerator. As a bonus, this trick will also help you save money by lessening the load on your boiler.
2. Cover Your Pipes
This tip is especially important if you live in an unheated basement or garage. One option is to simply run a cord from your faucet to the pipe on exterior walls so that water can trickle down and keep these pipes from freezing.
Otherwise, you can purchase special heat tape at home improvement stores for this purpose (just make sure to follow all the instructions carefully). Some people even choose to use old clothes hangers and garden wire, which work just as effectively.
3. Keep Your House Warm
As mentioned earlier, the easiest way to prevent a pipe from freezing is to keep it warm. So a quick and easy tip during the winter months is to simply keep your thermostat at the same temperature all day long–no matter how cold it gets outside.
This is especially important when you’re away from home for an extended period. Keep all doors open to help heat circulate throughout the house.
4. Drain Your Pipes
Before you head off to bed or leave for work, be sure to let your faucets drip overnight–this will drain any water left inside them that could expand and crack them if it froze!
If you forget to do this, don’t worry–you can still drain them very quickly by turning each of your faucets on full blast until they begin spewing water; then, turn them back off.
You’ll need a bucket or pot underneath to catch the flow (and consider plugging some drains, like the one in your bathroom sink, so the water doesn’t damage them).
5. Don’t Overload Your Garbage Disposal
If you have a garbage disposal, don’t overload it with food. Grinding up too much at once can cause the pipe to freeze and burst.
If possible, avoid using your garbage disposal during cold weather.
6. Insulate Pipes Near Outside Walls
Frost-proofing is a process that most homeowners neglect–and it’s one of the easiest things you can do to prevent frozen pipes!
All you need to do is wrap your exposed pipes with foam insulation or purchase insulation kits from home improvement stores specifically designed for this purpose.
Most people usually only apply this near exterior walls, but feel free to do it anywhere in your house.
7. Know What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze
Never just assume that a pipe has frozen and leave it alone–you could come back and find your whole house flooded! Check the exterior of your home every few hours, especially those spots where pipes tend to freeze (areas exposed to cold winds, etc.).
If you do spot a frozen pipe, do not attempt to thaw it. At the same time, this might seem like an obvious step because you want the water flowing again as soon as possible; thawing a frozen pipe too quickly can be extremely dangerous.
8. Call a Professional
If you’re trying your best to prevent frozen pipes, but they still just won’t stop freezing, it’s time to call in some professional plumbers. The last thing you want is to have to dig up your whole house because you failed at the simplest of tasks!
Above all, be diligent and patient to ensure that your pipes stay safe throughout the whole winter season.
It’s also essential that other household utilities stay protected during cold weather. For example, it’s never a good idea to expose your gas line to freezing temperatures–this can cause malfunctions in the whole system!
So there you go–eight incredibly simple ways to keep your pipes from freezing next winter. Keep these tips in mind and prevent your home from unnecessary damage.
Meta title: How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
meta desc: Freezing pipes can be a real headache in winters. Here are eight quick and easy tips for keeping your pipes from freezing during the cold winter months.