If you have ever had your pipes freeze on you, you know how important these tips can be in the winter months. When the weather outside drops below freezing, it freezes everything! Including water in your hoses, gutters, and pipes! When water freezes, it expands, causing pipes to burst.
Here are some tips to keep your pipes from freezing:
- DO NOT use antifreeze. It is a harmful chemical.
- Prep for winter- Drain water from hoses, pools, and sprinkler systems. Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas such as garages, basements, attics and crawl spaces. There are inexpensive pipe ‘sleeves’ that will help protect and insulate pipes.
- Keep garage doors closed from the cold weather.
- Open cabinets and closed-off spaces (i.e. closets, utility rooms) to allow the warmer weather to circulate.
- If temperatures drop to below freezing for several days, you can turn on your faucets to cold water to a slow drip to keep water moving through the pipes to slow the freezing down.
Here are some tips if your pipes do freeze:
- Keep the faucet on to allow expansion but keep an eye on it for when the ice melts because water will run out.
- If you can find the pipe that is frozen, Get out the blow dryer! According to the American Red Cross, you can also use an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices.
- Call a plumber immediately. Look at our list of recommended vendors to find a good one.