How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

As we all know, water freezes when the temperature goes down to 32ˇŻ F. There are those that say, “So what! It will eventually melt.” Au contraire. Frozen pipes often lead to burst pipes that can lead to floods, which lead to thousands (of dollars in damage to other parts of your home.

Here are some ways to prevent freezing:

1. Wrap all exposed pipes. Pipe wrap is not all that expensive and is easy to apply if pipes?are accessible. If there’s a sudden freeze and no wrap is available, wrap several layers of newspaper around the pipes and secure with duct tape.

2. Running water is slower to freeze, so turn on faucets to a slight drip.

frozen pipe How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

3. If the kitchen is on a north wall and you’re not sure of the protection to the pipes, open the cabinet under the sink to allow heat from the room in to help prevent freezing. You can also add a 100-watt bulb in a droplight to hang in the cabinet.

4. Remove all hoses from outside faucets, drain them, and store them inside.

5. Outside faucets should have a shut off valve. If not, or if it’s not operable, wrap the faucet with several sections of newspaper, held in place by rubber bands. Cover this with a plastic grocery bag to keep the papers from getting wet.

6. Place a bucket or small garbage can upside down over the faucet. The dead air trapped inside is added protection.

7. If you have outside faucets that come out from the wall, buy special dome-shaped foam units that attach over the faucets.

What if it is too late? If you do have frozen pipes, you can help prevent a bursting pipe with these steps:

1. Open the nearest faucet to prevent a build up of pressure as the ice thaws.

2. Starting at the faucet and working away from it, apply heat to cause melting. Use a heat gun, heat lamp, hand-held hair dryer, heating pad, or electric heat tape.

Unfortunately, a burst pipe won’t show up until the ice melts, so be prepared to quickly shut off the water supply at the main cut-off.

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