An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is true for frozen pipes.
Preventing your pipes from freezing in the first place will save you time and money.
Below you’ll find some simple steps you can take to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Should you still end up with frozen pipes, you should view our post on “How to thaw frozen pipes“. And should you need us, of course we’re happy to take your call, 24 hours / day.
Don’t have time to take the slightly more complex steps below? Here’s a quick way to prevent frozen pipes. Just slightly open one of the faucets in your home that is farthest from the main water supply. The running water will provide freeze protection. This method, however, should only be used as a stopgap until you are able to take the following steps.
One other easy, short-term solution when it is really cold outside is to open the cabinet doors under your kitchen or bathroom sink. This will allow warm air to more easily reach the pipes when temperatures plummet.
If you live in a place where temperatures can drop well below freezing, you should take these steps to minimize the possibility of freezing pipes. First, pipes susceptible to freezing should be insulated with foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. Keep in mind that your hot water lines can freeze too. So be sure to insulate both cold and hot water pipes.
In some extreme situations, such as those in which pipes are directly exposed to outdoor temperatures, it may be necessary to wrap pipes with grounded heating strips before insulating.
For outdoor faucets that reside on an exterior wall of your home, you can buy and install frost-free (or frost proof) outdoor faucet. These faucets have extended shutoff valves that reside inside the wall, preventing the water from being exposed to outside temperatures. Note, it’s VERY IMPORTANT to disconnect your garden hose from these types of faucets for them to work properly.
If you have a faucet outside your home that you do not use during winter, and you are unable to install a frost free valve, you can follow the water line inside your home and turn off the valve inside your home that leads to the faucet. Next, turn on the outside faucet until all of the water drains out. If you do not have a turnoff valve inside your home to that faucet, we recommend installing one.
Finally, it is so easy to forget to close your crawlspace vents in the winter season. When strong winds accompany the cold temperatures, these elements can cause pipes to freeze in your crawlspace under your house.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help.