5 Ways to Keep Your Pipes Safe in the Winter
It’s pretty much common knowledge that cold weather can result in burst pipes. However, what isn’t common knowledge are the easiest ways to prevent that from happening. In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can do to prevent those pesky pipes from cracking, bursting, and otherwise breaking during cold weather.
1) Keep the temperature up
The most obvious way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to turn the heat on in your home. Water freezes at 32 degrees and below, so as long as you keep your temperature well above that, you should be able to prevent any major issues. Keep in mind, however, that your home is designed to be insulated, which keeps the heat in your house. You’ll need to warm it up significantly past that freezing point in order to keep the insides of your walls above freezing.
2) Wrap exterior pipes in insulation or cloth
If you have any active pipes running along the outside of your home (such as garden faucet hookups), it may be a good idea to insulate them. You can usually get plumbing insulation at the hardware store, but you can also use things like towels or blankets to get the job done. Keep in mind that a product designed for the job is going to insulate a pipe in danger of freezing far better than a blanket or towel ever could, but you can use those if you have no other alternatives.
3) Disconnect your water hose
While you’re out there insulating your faucet pipes, make sure you disconnect your hose. In many cases, there is still water in your hose even after you turn it off. If that water freezes, it can potentially go back into your pipes and cause damage, since water expands as it freezes. Just unscrew the hose, and you can prevent this from happening.
4) Keep a slow drip going
If you’re experiencing very, very cold weather, there’s a good chance you’re going to experience some issues with your plumbing. Leaving your faucet on a slow drip can prevent that line from freezing, by keeping water moving through the pipe. While it might not sound ideal for anyone concerned about water conservation, leaving your faucet on a slow drip can actually waste less water in the long run, since a burst pipe can mean a potentially major leak. You can also leave a bucket or other container in the sink, which can catch the water and allow you to reuse it later.
5) Open any cabinets or cupboards which are attached to exterior walls
Most kitchens have at least one exterior wall. If this is true in your case, make sure that your cabinets are open. This will allow the heat from inside your home to make contact with those walls, letting heat in and keeping your pipes from freezing.
These are some simple tips that you can use to prevent a lot of damage to your pipes (and your wallet). We hope this helps you better prepare for cold weather, and we encourage you to give us a call if you have any questions regarding frozen pipes.