Frozen pipes can wreak havoc in your home if they burst. The expansion that occurs as ice forms inside a water pipe pushes any remaining liquid down the line, and the increase in pressure can cause a rupture near the faucet. In addition to causing a plumbing emergency and considerable mess, a burst pipe can leave you facing costly water damage repairs or even mold remediation.
Proactive Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Outdoor water lines and certain indoor pipes are more susceptible to freezing when they’re exposed to frigid winter air. Taking steps to protect your water pipes now can help you prevent a catastrophe this winter.
Seal air leaks around your home’s exterior. Use expandable foam insulation or caulk to plug cracks, holes and gaps where cold air can enter.
Identify vulnerable indoor pipes. Locate water lines in uninsulated areas like an unfinished basement, attic or garage, and wrap them in insulating foam tubing. Cover both the hot and cold lines underneath your sinks as well. If there are water pipes in any exterior walls and they’re accessible, install heat trace tape or cable, then add insulation.
Winterize your outdoor water lines. To safeguard the hose spigot, shut its indoor valve, then drain the line by opening the faucet. Leave it open so pressure can’t build up, and install a foam insulator over the spigot. If you have water pipes serving a swimming pool or sprinkler system, drain the supply lines as recommended by the manufacturer.
Take Action When Extreme Temperatures are Forecast
You can lessen the risk of frozen water lines by taking additional precautions when the weatherman warns of extremely cold temperatures:
Let the faucets drip on at-risk lines to relieve any pressure build up.
Don’t make your usual thermostat setback on colder nights.
Leave the doors open on the kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets to let warm air circulate inside.
If there are any water pipes installed in the garage, keep the door closed.
For more tips on how to avoid frozen pipes in your northeast Ohio home this winter, contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).