Frozen Pipes? 10 Tips to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Bitter temperatures and ice freezes could cause severe damage to your home if you are not prepared. Here are some helpful tips to avoid freeze-ups:
1) Because your furnace is operating more frequently, be sure that carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and are located near the furnace area.
The best way to properly test your carbon monoxide detectors is to go purchase a carbon monoxide detector kit. You can find them at places like Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, or they can be ordered on Amazon. Simply pressing the “test” button will only tell you whether it has enough power from batteries or an outlet.
2) Keep heat at 70° during these frigid days.
It’s important to keep your home at the same temperature both during the day and at night. If you’re like most people, you probably turn the thermostat down at night to save money on your heating bill. However, it’s going to cost much more to repair your pipes if they freeze.
3) Check your home for drafts.
The most common place you’ll find a draft is at your windows. Run your hand over the window frames and check for any soft feeling of a breeze. If you’ve got heavy curtains, you may not have felt the draft before because they can contain the air coming in.
4) Check for exposed pipes underneath all kitchen and bathroom cabinets that are located on outside walls.
Pipes that are located in these areas can be some of the quickest to freeze under harsh weather conditions. To protect them from this, leave the cabinet doors open to allow heat in.
5) Insulate pipes that are located on outside walls.
A quick way to prevent these pipes from freezing is to insulate them. You can do this with foam insulation, which you can buy at just about any hardware store. Foam insulation is great for shielding large areas of plumbing, and it is easy to install by yourself.
6) Let your faucets trickle with warm water.
If you have had previous problems with freezing, leave a faucet trickling with warm water. This tends to work well because generally, moving water will not freeze. Doing this also relieves pressure on your home’s water system.
Leaving only one dripping faucet can suffice, but you need to make sure it's in the right location. If you know where your water comes into your house, turn on a cold water faucet at the other end of the house to allow for water to travel through the entire system.
7) Try to heat the area beneath your crawl spaces.
If your pipes should freeze, you need to apply heat to the area immediately. This may help to avoid broken pipes. It is very important to be careful about how you do this. Heating devices such as space heaters can be effective, but they can also pose a serious fire hazard. Use this as a last resort, and never leave a heating device unattended. Stay away from any heating device with exposed heat coils or flames.
8) Test your faucets.
Before leaving your home, test all faucets to ensure they are working properly. If they are not, heat the area immediately. If the pipe conditions do not improve, call a licensed professional plumber immediately.