It's every homeowner's worse nightmare: on a frigid morning, you turn on your faucet for a hot shower or warm cup of hot cocoa, only to be met with silence. During the winter months, pipes have a tendency to freeze due to the cold temperatures. Frozen pipes aren't just an inconvenience; if they bust, you're looking at a significant repair bill. Keep your pipes from freezing by following these tips.
1. Increase the Temperature Around the Pipes
The easiest way to keep your pipes from freezing is to increase the temperature directly around the pipes. There are a few ways you can do this, depending on the position of the pipes.
A simple way to keep your pipes warm is to open the cabinets that contain the pipes. This allows heat to circulate to the pipes, keeping the pipes from freezing.
You can also wrap your pipes with pipe insulation or heating tape. Both exterior and interior pipes can benefit from wrapping.
2. Let Your Faucets Slightly Drip
You can minimize the chance of your pipes freezing by keeping water moving throughout the pipes during extreme temperatures.
Turn your faucets slightly on so that they drip lukewarm water. Some homeowners hesitate to do this due to concerns over increases in their water bill. However, repair bills from busted pipes are generally much more costly than a slightly more expensive water bill.
If waste is a concern, collect the water using a jug or container so that you can use it for cleaning or watering your plants.
3. Disconnect Outside Hoses
Since outside pipes are prone to freezing, make sure you disconnect any outside hoses. Once the hoses are disconnected, install covers on your outside faucets.
When garden hoses are left connected, it is possible for ice to form within the hoses and their faucets. The buildup of ice puts strain on your home's pipes, making them more likely to burst during freezing temperatures.
4. Improve Your Home's Insulation
Keeping your home toasty helps minimize pipe freezing. As an added bonus, better insulation also decreases your utility bills. Ideally, the temperature in your home should be in the upper 60s to effectively fight frozen pipes.
Start with the windows, and check them for drafts. Install new weatherstripping in windows that are letting cold air into your home.
If the walls of your home or your home's attic are lacking in insulation, install more to help your home retain heat. It is especially important to thoroughly insulate unheated areas and exterior portions of your home. For more information, contact a company like Garabedian Plumbing & Heating Inc.