One of the most serious home emergencies that can occur in your Illinois home is frozen pipes. When the temperature dips below 20 degrees, pipes may be at risk for freezing and bursting. Thousands of dollars of damage to the interior of the home and to your furnishings can result. To avoid this type of catastrophe, it’s a good idea to practice some winter plumbing maintenance.
- Disconnect hoses from spigots. Water freezing in the hose will expand, increasing pressure on the system. Frost-proof outdoor spigots or turn off the interior shut-off valve that leads to the outdoor spigot. Install a faucet insulator or wrap the spigot well.
- Insulation is key to preventing outdoor pipes from freezing. Purchase a foam tube, designed to insulate pipes, from the hardware store. Cut down to size to fit. Pipes also at risk for freezing are those in unconditioned spaces like the attic, a crawl space and the garage.
- If you have “problem pipes” in areas of your home that are prone to freezing, wrap pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape. It turns on when the temperature reaches a certain minimum.
- If you’re leaving home for a while and you’re concerned that pipes might freeze in your home if the temperature gets too cold, leave the cabinet doors below sinks open and don’t set the thermostat below 55 degrees.
- Allow water to trickle through faucets overnight if you’re concerned about freezing pipes along an exterior wall of your home.
- When leaving home for a vacation or other extended time away during the winter, turn off the water at the main shut-off. Open the faucets and flush the toilets so water can’t freeze in the pipes should the power go off.
- To prevent cold air from entering your crawl space vents, cover the vents with foam board.
For more information on winter plumbing maintenance, contact Carefree Comfort, Inc. Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing of Highland Park. We’ve been family owned and operated since 1984.
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