If you're expecting the temperatures to dip below freezing, the last thing you want is to wake up to ruptured pipes. To prevent that, you need to take some precautionary measures. With proper planning, you can avoid ruptured pipes, water damage, and costly plumbing repairs. Here are four simple steps you can take to prevent frozen water pipes.
Leave a Drip
You might not realize this, but moving water is less likely to freeze inside the pipes. If you're expecting a winter freeze to come through, allow your faucets to drip overnight. Turn the faucets on to a very slow drip – especially faucets that are on exterior-facing walls. If you don't like the idea of wasting water, leave a bowl under the faucet. In the morning, you can pour the water on your houseplants.
Open the Cabinets
If you think that your interior water pipes should be safe from winter freezing, that's not the case. This is particularly true of sinks that are installed on exterior-facing walls or are installed in the basement. To prevent frozen pipes, open your cabinets overnight. This will allow warm air to heat the pipes up. For maximum protection, especially during times of severe winter temperatures, set a small space heater in front of the cabinet and allow it to heat up the pipes for a few hours before heading to bed. Right before you retire for the night, turn the space heater off to avoid fire hazards.
Wrap Them Up
Another way to protect your pipes from freezing in the cold weather is to wrap them up. One simple way to do that is to wrap old magazines or newspapers around the pipes and secure them with a strip of duct tape. Another way is to utilize your old foam swim noodles from the summer. Measure your water pipes and cut pieces of foam to fit. Use a utility knife to cut a slit from end-to-end of the foam. Slip the foam piece around the pipes and secure them with a strip of duct tape.
Remove the Hoses
If you have hoses attached to your exterior faucets, it's a good idea to remove them before the winter freeze arrives. Leaving the hoses attached to the faucets will increase your risk of ruptured water pipes – this happens when the water that builds up between the faucet and the hose nozzle freezes. Protect your outdoor faucets by removing the hoses and storing them until spring.
Now that the freezing temperatures are here, use the tips provided here to protect your pipes. For other tips on how to protect your pipes this winter, be sure to speak to a plumbing services contractor near you.