Cold temperatures can cause water pipes to freeze. Freezing in a pipe creates a lot of pressure inside the pipe and can cause the pipe to burst and likely lead to serious flooding. This can be especially bad when there’s no one around to turn off the water. The best prevention against frozen pipes is to keep them warm enough to stay above the freezing point. Here are some ways you can do so.
Keep the Heat On
If you are leaving for a long period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on. The heat can help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. You don’t have to have the thermostat set too high. As long as your heat is set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit you should be ok.
Allow the Faucet to Drip
If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can open the faucet fed by that pipe just a bit so the faucet drips slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this relieves pressure in the system. The pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet is what will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus keep the pipe from bursting. If the faucet is served by both hot and cold water pipes, open both faucet taps slightly, or set a single-handle faucet to warm.
Keep Interior Doors Open
When you leave for a long period of time, open up the doors of the cabinets where your pipes are. For example, under the kitchen sink or under the bathroom sink. This will allow the warm air in your house to circulate around the pipes and prevent them from freezing.
Use Heating Tape
Heating tape works like an electric blanket for pipes, supplying heat directly to the pipe to keep it warm curing cold spells. This can be a good solution for short sections of pipe that are at high risk for freezing and are easily accessible so you can install the tape and can monitor it for problems.
Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.
You can also add insulation insulation can be added to the wall and ceilings where the pipes are for additional warmth.