Preventing Frozen Pipes

Preventing Frozen Water Pipes

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 WINTER

  • 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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