There are three things that lead to the majority of frozen pipe problems:
Sudden drops in temperature, bad or no insulation where needed, and thermostats set too low.
IN THE FALL
- Insulate your water pipes in unheated areas of your house. Crawl spaces and attics are likely areas where pipes could freeze.
- Heat tape can be used to protect pipes. Read the packaging and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Seal leaky areas that allow cold air to come into unheated areas near your water pipes.
- Disconnect garden hoses and turn off the valves for the outside connections where possible. Drain the pipes to outdoor faucets if your plumbing allows.
- During extreme cold it could be beneficial to allow a small drip of warm and cold water to come from a faucet near an outside wall.
- If you have a dishwasher consider setting it up to wash or rinse on a delay so that it uses water during the wee hours of the morning.
- Be careful about turning down your thermostat too low at night. Place a thermometer near your water pipes in questionable areas and see how cold it gets during set-back periods on your thermostat.
- Open cabinet or closet doors that conceal water pipes. Especially on outside walls. This will allow room heat to get to the pipes.
DURING WINTER VACATIONS
- Do not set the thermostat lower than 55°.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house each day to make sure that your furnace is working.
- Consider shutting off the water and draining the pipes for extended vacations. Contact a plumber for the details if you are not sure of the procedure.
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