Tips for Frozen Pipes
With winter comes freezing temperatures and frozen pipes. There are multiple reasons why and how pipes freeze in the winter.
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
When water freezes, it expands and puts a lot of pressure on any pipes or containers. With pipes, the pressure from the freezing water can cause them to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes from Freezing
Before freezing temperatures, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe-even at a trickle-helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and the night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55F.
If you still have a pipe break despite these precautions, remember that SERVPRO of Casper is here for you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.