Avoid Frozen Pipes
Keeping those water pipes warm is the best prevention against freezing pipes. Look for areas in your home where exposed pipes do not get heat such as under cabinets and in crawl spaces. Here are few tips for when temperatures reach below zero:
- Open cabinet doors under sinks where the plumbing is located on an outside wall. This allows warm air from inside your home to reach those unprotected pipes..
- Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55 degrees.
- Insulate pipes located adjacent to exterior walls or crawl spaces. Exposed pipes in these areas are the most susceptible to freezing. Wrapping the pipes with insulation, heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables can help.
- Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located (e.g. electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes).
- Letting water drip is about releasing pressure and providing space for ice to expand without rupturing pipes. Please note, this does not help avoid frozen pipes. For conservation reasons, we do not recommend this tip. If you choose this tip, let hot and cold water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall of the house. Just a drip will do and we recommend collecting this water in a pail to use for plants and pets.
- Remember to disconnect garden hoses to prevent exterior faucets from freezing. Most modern outdoor faucets have a freeze release valve and do not need a cover.
If your water pipes are frozen, or if there is only a trickle, try some of the helpful tips listed below before calling a plumber:
- Locate where the water comes into your home - basement, crawl space, garage. Is there heat to that area? Is the vent to your water closet (where your water heater is located) open?
- Open a faucet, let a trickle run. If there is no water at all, leave the faucet open, but make sure the drains are clear.
- Open your cabinet doors to let heat in on your pipes. A small space heater would work well.
- Run a hair dryer on your pipe so heat can dispense through your plumbing system.
If you are completely out of water after trying these steps, call us at 720-733-6000.