Learn How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter.
Freezing weather may bring discomforts but one of them, frozen water pipes, can be avoided with a little planning and a few simple steps. When frigid artic air hits, water freezes, and as it freezes, it expands – causing pipes to burst and possible flooding to occur.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, such as outdoor hose bibs, showers, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas such as basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
There are several things that people can do to prepare for freezing weather, and there is one important thing everyone needs to know. Determine where the shut-off valve is in the house and how to use it in case pipes freeze and break.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if water is not running through the pipe, and the water temperature becomes cold.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip (at a minimal amount) from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent frozen pipes.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55˚F.