There are many great things that winter brings. We get to break out the big cozy blankets and sit by the fire, cuddle up with a nice cup of hot chocolate, and fuzzy socks. With all the joys of winter, we also have to worry about our pipes. The winter weather can cause pipes to freeze or even burst. Frozen pipes affect everyone from homeowners to those renting. This can be very annoying to deal with and leave a big dent in your wallet.
Your pipes burst because when water freezes it expands. This expansion puts pressure on your metal or plastic pipes and will cause them to burst. Pipes that are most prone to burst are those exposed to the cold. These include swimming pool supply lines, sprinkler lines, outdoor hose bibs, pipes in the basement, attic, kitchen, bathroom, or garage.
Extra insulation –Insulating pipes will not completely prevent pipes from freezing but it will slow down the freezing process. This gives you a little extra time to get to your pipes in order to prevent them from freezing.
Open cabinet doors- Leaving your cabinet doors open allows the warm air from the house or apartment to reach your pipes and keep them warm. This is especially helpful for sinks located on exterior walls that are more prone to freeze because they are closer to the colder outdoor temperature.
Disconnect your garden hose– When a garden hose freezes it can burst an interior pipe. The expanding water in the hose can affect the pressure throughout the whole plumbing system. To prevent this, disconnect your hoses, drain them, and store them before the first freeze of the season.
Drip- If there is a threat of a freeze, keep at least two faucets on a constant drip. The water running through the pipes will help prevent the line from freezing.
Heating tape- Heating tape has a built-in thermostat that will prevent pipes from getting too cold or overheating. Make sure to follow the installation instructions very carefully or call a professional to prevent fire.