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How to Stop Pipes Freezing in Winter

Posted on: December 15, 2016

Now that winter is here, many homeowners are at risk of their pipes freezing. Burst pipes can happen suddenly and cause a lot of damage to your home that can be expensive to repair. Obviously, it is much cheaper to take measures to prevent pipes freezing than to call out a plumber for an emergency.

How to Prevent Pipes Freezing in Winter

Here are some practical tips on how to stop pipes freezing and make sure that you never have the headache of water gushing out of a burst pipe.

Check pipe insulation

All pipes need to be well insulated to prevent them freezing. Make sure that all pipes in the crawlspace or attic have a good layer of fiberglass or other insulating material around them. Remember, that this doesn’t keep pipes warm, it only delays the rate at which pipes and the water in them become cold.

Install a heating cable

A professional plumber can give you the best advice on where to install heating cables on pipes to prevent them freezing. This is very useful in you live in areas where the temperature in wintertime is regularly well below 30oF.

Use a space heater

If it’s not possible to install a heating cable, or you are just expecting a short freeze, a space heater can help keep the area where the pipes are above freezing.

Open cabinet doors

You can prevent pipes freezing inside your home by keeping cabinet doors open to allow heat to pass through. Just remember to remove any chemicals to keep them out of reach from pets and children.

Let the faucet run

Keeping a small flow of water running through the pipes is an effective way to prevent them freezing up. Even though it may cost a little money for the water, it is much cheaper than paying for costly plumbing repairs.

Turn off water

Always make sure and disconnect and drain water from any pipes that are used to water the garden or any other outside tasks. If your home or building is empty for the winter, shut off the water at the main valve and drain water from the pipes by running the faucets until no more water comes out.

What To Do If You Already Have a Frozen Pipe?

If you discover that water isn’t coming out the faucet because a pipe is frozen, don’t panic. Open the faucet slightly and try to defrost the pipe by using a hair dryer. If no water starts to come out the faucet, you need to call a plumber.

Do use this method if you notice the pipe is already burst, you are in an area of standing water, or you are near flammable substances.

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