In the winter, many homeowners have the problem of frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands and put a huge amount of pressure on the pipes, whether they are metal or plastic. If they burst, you could have a house full of water along with an expensive water bill and high costs for repairs.
To avoid calling the plumber for a plumbing repair, act preventatively. Here are some tips on how to prevent pipes from freezing.
- The pipes that are most likely to freeze are the ones that are exposed to the outdoors. Water sprinkler lines and swimming pool lines are the most exposed, but basement and attic pipes can be subject to freezing as well. Drain the water from the pool and sprinkler water lines per the manufacturer’s directions.
- Drain outdoor hoses and remove them. Store the hoses somewhere warmer. Close valves inside that supply those outside hoses. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain out.
- Check around your home for areas with little insulation where pipes are stored, like in the attic or basement. Another place that pipes are often kept is in the garage. Wrapping them with blankets or towels can help keep heat in. Consider purchasing a pipe sleeve or heat tape to put on pipes that are frequently exposed to freezing cold air.
- Running water, even at a trickle, can help exposed pipes keep from freezing.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors beneath the sinks to let warmer air circulate to those pipes.
- Leaving your heater on in your home during the winter is essential. Do so at a temperature higher than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If your pipes freeze, you can apply a heating pad or a hair dryer on sections of the pipe to thaw them out before they burst.
To completely protect your pipes, you might consider relocating exposed pipes to a warmer area. A professional would need to be hired to do this, but it could help tremendously in the long run.