Frozen Pipes Are a Cold Weather Hazard — Steps You Can Take to Prevent Them

frozen pipesWhen outdoor temperatures dip during the winter months, frozen plumbing pipes and water lines cause headaches for many homeowners. As water freezes in a plumbing pipe, it expands and puts pressure on the faucet end of the line, causing it to burst. When the blockage melts, ruptured frozen pipes can wreak havoc on a home and its contents.

Take a Proactive Approach to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Because of their location, some water lines are more susceptible to freezing, including those serving outdoor spigots, lawn sprinklers and swimming pools. Plumbing pipes located inside exterior walls or running through uninsulated areas like a garage, an attic or a basement are also at greater risk during cold weather. You can help avert frozen pipes by taking these steps:

  • Winterize outdoor water lines. Drain any swimming pool or sprinkler supply lines according to the manufacturer or installer’s instructions. Prepare the hose bib for freezing temperatures by shutting off the indoor valve and opening the outdoor spigot to let the line drain. Be sure to leave the faucet open to prevent pressure build-up. Install a foam insulator over the hose bib for extra protection.
  • Protect plumbing pipes in unheated areas. Identify hot and cold water lines throughout the home that may be in danger of freezing. Cover at-risk pipes in the attic, garage, basement, and inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets with tubular foam sleeve insulation. For any pipes situated in exterior walls, install heat trace tape before insulating.

Extra Measures to Take During Cold Snaps

It’s easier for pipes to freeze during extremely cold weather, so prepare for a predicated cold snap by:

  • Opening up faucets on vulnerable water lines just a bit so that water continues to flow.
  • Maintaining the daytime thermostat setting instead of lowering the temperature at night.
  • Leaving kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open so warmer air reaches plumbing pipes.
  • Closing the garage door to keep cold air away from any water lines inside.

For more effective tips on how to prevent frozen pipes in your Highland Park, Lake Bluff or Lincolnshire area home, contact us today at Carefree Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning.

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