How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing
Any time you get a 50-degree (or warmer) day in the winter, it’s both a relief and a hope for an early spring. But don’t let those warmer than usual days fool you since right behind them could the kind of blistering cold that banishes any thoughts of spring in the blink of an eye.
The other not-so-great thing about warm winter days is their ability to make us forget just how much damage frigid temperatures can cause. And when that happens, we tend to let down our guard – not a good idea, especially when it comes to preventing water pipes from freezing.
The point is, winter is winter, and no amount of unseasonable warmth can take away from the reality that we will still have plenty of bitter cold to cope with. And coping, in this case, means being ready in advance. Here’s how:
- If possible, insulate pipes located in unheated or under-heated spaces like your garage, basement, or crawl space.
- Shut off the water supply to exterior spigots.
- Open cabinet doors under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warm air to circulate, especially before going to bed on a night with sub-freezing temperatures outdoors.
- Take extra care when using a space heater to warm pipes in a basement. Do not leave the heater on unattended, and be sure to turn it off and unplug it before leaving the house or going to sleep.
Should one or more of your pipes freeze anyway, here’s what to do:
- Release pressure inside the pipe by turning on that faucet.
- If the pipe is accessible, try thawing it with a hand-held hair dryer or space heater. Don’t try thawing too much of the pipe too soon, because that could cause it crack. Also, don’t your kerosene lamps or blow torches to thaw a pipe.
- You can also wrap frozen pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape.
- Should the pipe in question burst, shut off the main water supply to minimize flooding.
Here at Arnold & Sons, we can help you prevent your pipes from freezing – simply call to request service. Or, if it’s already too late for that, we can do whatever is necessary to repair or replace the frozen pipe and clean up any mess it may have caused. Arnold & Sons, your year-round local plumbing professionals.