Just because we’ve made it past December doesn’t mean we’re free of frozen pipes just yet. Being a plumber in Plano, TX, we’ve gotten our fair share of calls for help with frozen pipes. The pressure that builds up inside these pipes can lead to a burst, so it’s especially important to have frozen pipes dealt with as soon as possible.
Even better is to prevent those pipes from freezing in the first place. Below are a few methods you can use to do that.
Open the Outdoor Faucets
It’s the pipes outside the home that are most susceptible to freezing. Here’s how to prepare them so they don’t freeze over:
- Turn off all the water to the faucets.
- Open all the faucets and leave them open.
- Allow all the water to drain out of the pipes.
- Close the faucets and turn your water back on.
By draining all the water out of your pipes, there won’t be much water to freeze!
Insulate Pipes in Exposed Areas
Pipes under your sink, in the crawl spaces, or in the basement are all vulnerable to freezing in the winter. The best way to prevent them from freezing is by putting a sweater on them.
Okay, we’re just kidding about the sweater. What you really need is polyethylene pipe insulation. This is a flexible tubing you can wrap around the pipe in order to keep the temperature from getting too low. If you’re not able to make it to the store, you can achieve a similar effect by wrapping the pipe with towels.
Speaking of insulation, you can also try adding more insulation to those cold areas. This will help retain warm temperatures so that freezing isn’t a problem in the first place. You’ll want to consult with a professional, however, because adding insulation can get complicated. For example, insulating a crawlspace without taking moisture into consideration could result in mold and mildew growth.
Use the Thermostat
Using your thermostat to help may seem obvious, but you have to use it in the right way if your aim is to prevent pipes from freezing.
For one, it helps to keep the thermostat at the same temperature through night and day. Homeowners are often encouraged to lower their thermostat at night to save money, but they should resist that urge for the duration of the freezing temperatures.
Second, use your thermostat if you plan to be away from the home (we hope you’re going somewhere warm). Setting the temperature to a heat no lower than 55°F will help the pipes warm enough.
Open the Cabinets, Close the Garage
In order for the thermostat tricks to work effectively, you’ll need to open all the cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms. This will help warm air circulate around the pipes.
On the other hand, make sure your garage stays closed. Many homes have their water supply lines installed in the garage, putting them in danger of freezing. You’ll want to trap as much heat inside of the garage as you can.