Frozen Pipes Part 1
Sometimes, customers don’t understand why their pipes break after there was frozen water in them. The reason is that water expands when its frozen, exerting a lot of pressure on the pipe that is holding it. With the water expanding in the pipe, it causes it to split and break.
The pipes that are more likely to freeze are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, such as outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply line, and sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior area like basement and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinet.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes from Freezing
Here are some suggestions on how to protect your pipes from breaking, before the freezing temperatures arrive.
- Drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler supply lines. Follow the 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 areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes, such as heat tape, pipe sleeve, and heat cable. Newspaper can provide some insulation and protection.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.