8 Ways to Prevent Water Pipes from Freezing
Winter brings frigid temperatures in the country, and when the temperature drops down, the water supply in your home is prone to freeze inside the pipes. This can leave you without water or cause your water pipes to rupture, which can lead to devastating property damage.
Hence, before the temperature plummets below freezing point, it is important to take proactive measures to prevent pipes from freezing. In this post, we will discuss key tips to keep your pipes warm and keep the water running throughout your home, even in the coldest of winters. We will also tell you what to do if your pipes freeze and how to thaw them.
1 Cover exposed pipes
Covering pipes with some kind of insulation is the most common way to protect your pipes from freezing. Consider insulating pipes located in unheated areas and exterior walls. Pipes underneath kitchen and bathroom are also prone to freezing in extreme cold. Hence, applying insulation in all these areas provide a shield against frigid temperatures, and keep your pipes warmer. Using foam insulation or heat tapes is a cost-efficient way to safeguard your pipes.
2 Let the water drip from the faucets
When noisy cold water pipes weather starts to settle in and you notice a drop in temperature, let water run through a faucet. You don’t need to leave the faucet running at full blast, but it has to be a small drip. For the best results, choose the faucet that is furthest away from the source. Doing so will make water move through a large part of your piping system and prevent it from freezing. This will also reduce water pressure inside the pipe and help avoid a burst if the water freezes.
3 Insulate the unheated areas
When you have water pipes running through unheated areas, such as the attic, basement, garage or crawl space, the pipes don’t get as much warmth as they would in a heated living room or bedroom. By insulating these unheated areas, you can keep the pipes warm throughout colder months and they are less likely to freeze.
4 Seal any air leaks
Any cracks or openings in the inside and outside your home allow cold air inside. This can cause the pipes to freeze. Hence, inspect and seal any holes around the water pipeline to stop cold air from getting in. Air leaks usually happen around windows, doors, dryer vents, pipes and electrical wiring, so make sure you insulate them properly to keep cold out.
5 Keep temperature consistent throughout your home
If you have a home with several heating rooms, make sure you set all of them at a minimum of 65 degrees throughout the day and night to avoid pipes from freezing. In regular weather, shutting down your thermostat at night or when you are not home can help you save on heating costs, but in the colder months, it is essential to maintain a steady temperature to keep your pipes free of ice. Keep your thermostat on even if you are not at home. Spending a few pounds on your utility bill will be well worth the thousands you will save by preventing pipe burst.
6 Install smart-home technology
To further make sure a consistent temperature is maintained across your home, you can leverage smart-home technology. A smart-home device with low temperature sensor will send signals to your alarm system to alert you when the temperature drops significantly. Smart-home thermostats can allow you to monitor and control temperature remotely. Smart leaking water tank detection systems can automatically shut off water supply when the leak is detected.
7 Detach any hoses outside
When water freezes in hose that is attached to a faucet outside, it increases pressure on the pipes in the home, which can ultimately burst the pipe. Therefore, after you finish tending to your garden, detach and drain all hoses, and turn off the water supply to outside faucets. Keep it open throughout winter to allow the water remains in the pipe to expand. Additionally, you can use faucets cover for extra protection against frozen pipes.
8 Open doors and cabinets in kitchen, laundry and bathroom
Another effective strategy to prevent pipes from freezing is to leave the cabinets and doors in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry open. By doing so, the warm air can circulate evenly throughout your home and keep your pipes warm during cold weather. It is important to open cabinet doors if they are located around an exterior wall of your home. That is because the pipes in those areas are more likely to freeze as they are close to the cold outdoors.
What to Do If Your Water Pipes Freeze?
If you suspect that your water pipes have frozen, turn on the faucet and see whether water runs through. If only a few drips of water flow out, there is likely an ice blockage. Then, carefully inspect the pipeline for any cracks or bursts. If there is any, turn off the main water supply and call an emergency plumber London right away.
Until the plumber comes, do not use any electrical appliances near the areas of standing water. You may try thawing frozen pipes using a hair dryer, but never try to thaw pipes with open flame because it can cause a fire. If the water pipe is still intact, turn on the faucet to let the water flow as the ice melts.