Tips to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing in Harsh Winters
Severe cold can cause water to freeze in pipes and may damage these, especially the ones located outside and exposed to low temperature. Though not limited to outdoor pipes, water pipes inside your home can also get damaged in cold weather. This happens because water expands on freezing. The expanded frozen water creates a lot of pressure on pipes and may even cause the metallic pipes to break.
You can take certain precautions to prevent this disaster. Here are quick tips to keep your pipes from freezing thereby averting the damage.
Tips to remember before the commencement of freezing weather and low temperature.
- Remove and drain water from outdoor hoses. Once done, store these at proper place.
- Close all the indoor valves supplying water to the outdoor hose bibs.
- Keep the outdoor hose bibs open.
- Drain water from water sprinkler pipe lines and swimming pool.
- Check attic area, basement and crawl space for insulation. If needed, add insulation as it will keep the area warm.
- Check all the pipes lines outside your home like garage etc. Also inspect the pipe lines for bathroom and kitchen. All pipes at high risk of freezing should be well insulated.
During the freezing weather
- If you or your tenant are away from home, keep the heat on. Though you need not to keep the heat in your property too high in your absence, but set it at around 50 F. It can prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the garage doors closed incase there is a water supply in this area.
- Frequently open the kitchen and bathroom door for the circulation of warm air.
- If the weather is too cold outside, let the water drops drip from the faucet supplied by exposed pipes. This will not allow water to freeze. Even if the water will freeze it wont exert pressure and cause and damage.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
- To check if the pipes has frozen or not, open the faucet. If a small amount of water comes out while fully turning on the faucet, your pipe is probably frozen. In this case, keep the faucet open, locate the frozen pipe.
- Once you have located the frozen section of the pipe, apply heat to this area. You can wrap heating pads or use hair dryer to melt the ice. Once water begins to melt, it will flow through the frozen area and help the ice to melt further. Keep applying the heat till full water pressure is brought back.
- In case you are not able to locate the frozen pipe, call a licensed plumber.