As winter arrives, the temperatures are dropping more and more. Is your plumbing prepared? When the weather gets below freezing, the water flowing through your home turns to ice, expands, and ultimately a pipe bursts. How can you prevent this? There are a few steps you can take.
Insulate your pipes
You can buy long strips of foam pipe insulation at the hardware store. Cut them into lengths to fit each of your exposed indoor pipes and put them on. This won't prevent the water in them from freezing, but it will slow the flow of heat, keeping them warmer longer.
Heat your pipes
If your pipes are in a dry, enclosed space, then wrap them up in heater tape. You can plug it in, and it will generate enough heat to keep your pipes warm, so the water doesn't freeze. Failing that, you can also use a heat lamp to warm the pipes and keep them from icing over.
Open any cabinet doors
For pipes that are in a cabinet under the sink, open the doors up and let the heat in. You'll likely be running your furnace, so it will be warmer inside than outside.
Run the water
If your house has lost power, then plug-in heat tape and warming your pipes using the furnace will be ineffective. However, you can still keep your pipes from freezing. Turn on a slow drip of water from the hot side of each faucet, then a faster one from the cold side. By keeping the water flowing, it will prevent freezing. Even a very small drip should do the trick. It will drive your water bill up a bit, sure, but it's still cheaper than fixing the plumbing when a pipe bursts.
For outdoor pipes, drain the water
Shut off the valves to all your outdoor spigots to keep water from flowing through them. Then, drain all the water from the spigots.
To learn more about what to do when a pipe bursts, contact us at Air Assurance today. We've served Broken Arrow's plumbing and HVAC needs for over 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about preventing pipe bursts and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “MikeBird/Pixabay”