Clarke & Sampson Blog

Follow These Tips to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

Posted by Keegan Wetzel

Feb 19, 2015 12:27:55 PM

Frozen pipes greatly disrupt daily life and can be quite expensive to repair. Water expands as it freezes, and when this is combined with extreme pressure, it can cause pipes to burst. Generally, pipes that are exposed to outdoor temperatures freeze more readily, such as swimming pool lines and water sprinkler lines. Pipes that run along exterior walls in the home with minimal insulation also tend to freeze more easily. Continue reading for useful tips that will help you keep your pipes from freezing. frozen-pipes

Before the Temperature Drops

You can take precautions to prevent frozen pipes in your home before the temperature drops outside and during frigid months of the year. Use the following recommendations:

  • Insulate pipes in unheated interior areas like crawl spaces and attics.
  • Wrap pipes in heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables.
  • Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warm air.
  • Seal any leaks with caulk or insulation.
  • Disconnect outdoor items such as hoses and faucets.
    • Shut off these items completely using an indoor valve and allow the excess water to drain out.
    • Do not use antifreeze on these items, as it is environmentally harmful.
  • Trickle a little water out of your faucets periodically to keep water moving within the pipes.
  • If you have a water supply in your garage be sure to keep your garage door closed.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and night. If you lower the temperature of your home at night, you risk freezing your pipes, even though your heating bills may be a bit higher.
  • Do not set your thermostat lower than 55° F when going on vacation. Ask someone to periodically check the temperature in your home while you are away.

If you turn on a faucet and no water or only a trickle comes out, your pipes could be frozen. Turn off the main water valve and keep the faucet on. Apply heat to the pipe by using an electric heating pad, hair dryer, portable space heater, or by wrapping the pipe in towels soaked in hot water. You should apply heat until you regain water pressure. If this does not solve the problem, contact a licensed plumber to inspect your pipes. 

We’re here to help make sure you’re covered for all of life’s mishaps - including frozen pipes. To learn about the ways we can help you protect your home, contact us today at (703) 683-6601 or click the button below.

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