With the temperature in the single digits, it’s important to prevent frozen household pipes. Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. Here are some steps to prevent this problem from occurring when the temperatures drop:
- Add extra insulation. Protect your home by wrapping exposed pipes with insulation and eliminate sources of cold air near any waterlines. Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep them from freezing.
- Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight. The cost of the water is minimal compared to repairing the damage from bursting pipes.
- Keep the heat on. If you plan to travel or leave for period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on your property. The heat does not have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it but setting it above 50 degrees is a good idea.
- Keep interior doors open. Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperature drops, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well.
If your pipes do freeze, shut off water immediately at your home’s main shut off. Do not attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. To thaw pipes, apply heat from a hair dryer, space heater, or hot water. DO NOT USE a torch or open flame.