How to Avoid Frozen Pipes in the Winter

How to Avoid Frozen Pipes in the Winter

Calhoun Plumbing

September 19, 2019

Simple prevention tips from Calhoun Plumbing

Summer winding down and crisp autumn air can only mean one thing – winter is coming. One headache that homeowners deal with in the winter is frozen pipes, which can leave you without running water or worse, a mess to clean up from a burst pipe.  But you can avoid a plumbing nightmare by taking a few simple precautions to keep your pipes from freezing as temperatures drop.

  1. Heat tape. Wrap heat tape around your pipes, then plug the tape into an electrical outlet. This takes insulation a step further by wrapping the pipes and applying heat. Use caution if using heat tape around insulation or other flammable materials, as it could start a fire.
  2. Leave interior cabinets open and heat overlooked areas. You can leave the cabinet doors under your sink open overnight to allow access from furnace-warmed air. For difficult to reach areas like attics and crawl spaces, you could consider using a space heater. Look for models that automatically shut-off after a certain time or when they are accidentally tipped over.
  3. Let the faucets drip. This suggestion sounds counter-productive if you are trying to conserve water, but it works. Allowing a small stream of water to flow from faucets keeps the water moving, which helps prevent freezing.
  4. Keep your home heated. Maintaining a consistent interior temperature can also help protect pipes. If you are on vacation or going to be away from your home for an extended time, leave the furnace running. A recommended minimum temperature is 50°F. Expensive repairs from burst pipes will far outweigh paying nominal gas or electricity costs for heating.
  5. Protect outdoor water sources. At the end of autumn, disconnect and drain garden hoses and bring them inside. You can find inexpensive faucet covers online or at a hardware store to protect outdoor faucets. If possible, shut off any water lines that are used for outdoor faucets.

Protecting your pipes is one way to keep your home maintenance costs down. If you suspect that you have frozen pipes or have a burst pipe, the experienced team at Calhoun Plumbing can help. You can call us 24 hours a day for a burst pipe or any other emergency plumbing service in your home.