5 Tips For Preventing Frozen Pipes

During the coldest months of winter, frozen pipes are an expensive and inconvenient reality that many homeowners have to deal with. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent the water in your pipes from freezing and potentially breaking a pipe which is costly to repair.

The pipes that are in the most danger of freezing are those in unheated areas of your home such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. As water freezes it expands, putting a tremendous amount of pressure on its container leading it to break even strong metal pipes. Households typically have piping running all around, so it is important to know where all of the piping begins and ends in order to help prevent freezing.

Frozen PipesHere are a few steps you can take to prevent this kind of issue from happening in your home:

  1. Use A Pipe Insulator On All Water Pipes – Insulation for the pipes in your home can come in the form of a sleeve that you can easily slip on to prevent heat loss. The insulation will protect the pipes from cold air and also keep them dry throughout the winter. You can use insulation on all your pipes but it is especially important in areas of the home that are not heated.
  2. Add Heater Tape And A Heat Reflector Lamp – In addition to insulation for your pipes it can help to add a layer of heater tape wrapped between the pipe and the insulation. The heater tapes have a built-in thermostat to help maintain a regular temperature. Setting up a heat reflector lamp can add warmth and prevent cold air from freezing the pipes. You will need to put the lamp only in a completely dry and enclosed space so it will be safe.
  3. Keep The Thermostat At The Same Temperature – It helps to have steady temperature set during both the day and night to keep pipes from freezing. It may end up costing more on your heating bill but it will ultimately save you the cost of having to pay for new or repaired pipes. You might even consider leaving the heat on in your home if you are going out of town.
  4. Drain Swimming Pool, Sprinkler Supply Lines And Hoses – The water in your pool, sprinklers and hoses can all end up freezing and damaging your pipes. It is important to drain these and make sure they are free of any water before the temperature starts to drop below freezing in the winter. If water inside a hose freezes, the freezing can continue back into the spigot until it reaches your pipes and they will eventually burst.
  5. Use Products Designed To Prevent Freezing – If frozen pipes are a real issue in your home you can always purchase items like a RedyTemp. This is a device that monitors the temperature inside the pipes and maintains a specific temperature that you select.You will have to install it yourself and determine the right temperature that will keep your water safe from freezing. This can be an effective tool if you are particularly concerned about certain pipes in your home

Sean Thomas is a Certified Backflow Prevention Specialist at Simply Backflow who is board certified and state certified in the repair and implementation of backflow prevention devices.