Winterize your home
November 12, 2019
Why are frozen pipes a problematic?
Because still water freezes more quickly than running water, and water expands as it freezes, freezing temperatures overnight, while no water is moving through your pipes, is the perfect time for the water in your pipes to freeze, and expand.
Your pipes are not flexible; therefore the freezing water may very well crack the pipe, causing a major leak once the ice starts to thaw.
How to prevent frozen pipes
- Locate any water lines at your home in unheated areas – (crawl space, outside showers etc) and insulate them. You can purchase “pipe sleeves” or “heat tape” but even ¼” of newspaper wrapped around the pipes can provide significant protection in areas that do not have frequent or prolonged freezing temperatures.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Even a trickle can help prevent the pipes from freezing.
- If you are accustomed to lowering your thermostat at night, forego this habit. The difference in your electric bill will still be cheaper than a broken water pipe repair job.
- If you will be away from home during the cold weather, leave your thermostat on at least 55 degrees F.
If you are going to be away from your home all winter, you should definitely winterize your home – shutting off the customer valve in the GREEN box on the house side of the water meter and draining the water so no water is left in the pipes.
If your pipes already froze
- Check all faucets in your home – if one pipe freezes, others may as well.
- Open the faucets.
- Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe – use an electric heating pad, a hair dryer, portable space heater (safely away from flammable objects).
*** If you cannot access, or locate, the frozen
section of pipe, call a licensed plumber. ***
- Continue to apply heat until full water pressure is restored.