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How to Prevent Frozen Plumbing Pipes

frozen pipe

The beauty of ice and snow makes winters one of the most beautiful times of the year. You wrap up warm for the coldest times but there are some other things too at your home which needs extra layer of protection. Frozen pipes are one of the major home maintenance disasters which can happen anytime in winters.

A little ice can tear open the supply line of water and after it thaws and melts down, it can cause serious structural damage in your home. Water tends to flow freely into your house which can cost you thousands because of the damage involved.

Water expands itself when it freezes which put undue pressure on plumbing pipes; sometimes this pressure may increase from 30 pounds per square inch to 30000 psi! Since pipes are unable to bear this much pressure, they burst open especially from the places which are weak spots.

So here are some preventive measures which you can adopt to save your pipes from turning into expensive ordeals! Prevention is always better than cure!

  1. Wrapping thermostat tapes around pipes: There are water heater tapes available in the market with built-in thermostat. These tapes help in maintaining the water temperature and prevent it from freezing or overheating. You can simply wrap the tape around the pipe. It is always better to go through manufacturer’s instruction manual if you plan to lay insulation over the tapes. This is because insulation might catch fire if the pipe doesn’t support insulating.
  2. Let the water run: You should allow the faucets to drip slightly as this tiny trickle will protect the pipe in two manners. The water freezes because of the pressure that builds up due to blocked or closed faucet. If the water keeps on moving then it will prevent the pressure from building up and also the constant supply of water will make freezing less likely. It might increase your water bill a little but is a best way to ensure it doesn’t freeze.
  3. Extra layer of insulation: Basements and attics are those areas of the home which have least insulation. Hence, if the pipes are housed in any of these areas then you would need to provide an extra layer of insulation by fitting it with foam rubber or fibre glass. You would have to cut any of these materials to form a sleeve which can be wrapped around the pipe to provide them warmth. You would have to don the protective work gear and assess the insulation requirement before initiating the job!
  4. Open vanity or cabinet doors: Generally the pipes are covered over by the cabinets and by keeping those doors open you would allow warm air to reach pipe sunder sinks. You can place heater in front of cabinets to maintain the warm temperature or you can keep the heat turned on so as to prevent water from freezing. Even if you set the temperature above 50 degrees of Fahrenheit then it would be enough to keep it warm.