Broken water pipes are very messy and costly problem and one that you will want to avoid. If you want to avoid this issue, there are 6 basic things that you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing during the cold winter months.
6 Basic Things to Do
Keeping the heat on is the first option and recommended for when you are away from the house for an extended period. When you do this, you should not set your thermostat to lower than 55 degrees.
Allowing one of your faucets to drip throughout the winter is another thing that you can do. This will relieve the pressure that is placed on the water system of your home and move water through the pipes. If you are going to be using this method, you need to ensure that the faucet is in the correct place. If you know where your water enters the house, you need to turn on the tap that is farthest from this.
Keeping the interior doors open is also something that you should look at. When you leave the cabinet doors in your home open, you allow the heat from the rest of the house to hit the pipes that are in the wall. This will help them stay warm and stop them from freezing.
Sealing up cracks and holes will also help you. You should look for places inside and outside the house where cold air is able to get in and around the pipes.
Applying heating tape to the pipes can also help with this. Heating tape is an electrical tape that you are going to be applying directly to the pipes in your home.
The last thing that you should look at is adding additional insulation. Fibreglass and foam rubber sleeves can be placed on the pipes to help protect them from the cold. This is a very good option when you have pipes in the basement and attic.
Stone and Chrome offers a number of tips that you can use to avoid frozen pipes. This will help you save money, as you will not have to deal with the expense that comes from this.
If you have a hose that you use outdoors, you should remove, drain, and store it. You also need to ensure that you have closed the entire inside valves, which provide water to the hose. When you disconnect the hose, you need to keep the outside valve open because this allows any water in the pipes to expand without breaking the pipe.
Pipe sleeves should be used and can be purchased at home repair stores.
Heat tape should also be considered as they are specially made to protect your exposed water pipes. If you do not want to get these sleeves, even newspaper can provide some insulation and protection for your exposed pipes.
Before winter sets in, you need to look around your home for any areas where there are supply lines but no heating. Places to look will include the basement, the attic, the crawl space, the garage and under the bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Pipes found in these areas need to be insulated to protect them. If there are supply lines in the garage, you need to close the doors to protect them.
When the weather gets very cold, you should let water drip from a faucet that is supplied by water lines, which are exposed. When you run water through the pipes, you will stop them from freezing. You should also look at keeping your thermostat at the same temperature in the day and night.
How to Thaw a Frozen Pipe
If one of your pipes freezes, you need to keep the tap open. As you defrost the pipe, the frozen water will start to melt and it needs to have somewhere to go. Having water running through the pipe will also help to melt the ice.
You also need to look at sealing any air leaks that allow cold air into the home where the frozen pipes are. Heat should be applied to a section of the pipe using a heating pad, a space heater, or a hairdryer. You should never use a blowtorch for this and keep applying the heat until the correct water pressure is restored.