During the winter months, homeowners who live in cold areas must face the possibility of having frozen water pipes. This is not a pleasant situation, and thankfully, it is one that can be avoided. There are some precautions that can be taken to avoid the trouble of having a frozen water pipe during winter.
Use Heat Tape to Protect Water Pipes
An easy way to avoid a frozen pipe is to put heat tape or heat cable on all exposed water pipes in a house. Most exterior pipes are located in places where the temperature could regularly go below freezing. It is not something that is difficult to install. This product is available at most hardware or building supply stores. When installing this product, it is very important to read and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Store Garden Hoses & Close Shutoff Valves
Before the winter season, it’s important a homeowner disconnect and store their garden hose. If a house has a separate shut-off for valve for an outside faucet, it needs to be turned off and water needs to be drained. This is also a good time to turn off, and drain a home’s sprinkler system. A plumbing professional will be able to remove any water that is leftover in an underground line. Should a pipe in a sprinkler system get frozen and break, the entire system could be damaged and need to be repaired before being used.
Insulate Crawl Spaces
Any place in a home where cold air blows on a pipe has the potential for creating a frozen pipe. To make certain that pipes have sufficient insulation, it’s important to close the crawl spaces and vents in a house. Insulation should then be placed over the opening. Any small opening can enable cold air to have access to pipes.
Laundry Room Or Bathroom Near or Above Garage
When these two rooms are located next to a garage or above it, the pipes associated with them are extremely vulnerable to the cold. Homeowners need to make certain their garage door is closed at all times during the winter to keep as much heat as possible inside. Should pipes from a bathroom be located near an outside exterior wall, the doors should be left open to permit heat to flow inside. In some situations, homeowners have success by using a space heater to provide temporary heat during a time of very low temperatures.
Signs Of Frozen Pipes
This happens when a homeowner turns on a home faucet during the cold months, and nothing happens. It may be time to call a plumbing professional. If a person does find the frozen pipe, it is important they do not use a blowtorch to warm it. Doing this causes home fires every winter. It’s also possible to turn a home’s water off and still hear water running. This is a sign a frozen pipe may have burst.
Know Where Your Master Shutoff Valve Is
It is important every adult living in a house know where the home’s master water shutoff valve is located. During the winter months, it’s possible for a pipe to burst at any place in the house. The master water shutoff valve turns off all of the water in a home. Shutting off the water after a pipe has burst could prevent extensive water damage in a house. Some homeowners will paint the valve a bright color or put a sign on it.
Maintain Home Temperature
A homeowner needs to make certain their home’s heating system can provide the same temperature during the day as it does at night. Maintaining the same inside temperature may result in a slightly higher heating bill, but it could also prevent an expensive repair because a frozen pipe has burst. Even if a homeowner is going to be away from their home during the winter, it’s important the temperature within the house remains consistent.