To give a quick answer to this question—yes, you should worry about frozen pipes. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it!
Let’s face it: when winter hits, you get consumed with staying warm during the chilly weather we get in our area. As a result, you likely don’t give much thought to your plumbing or how prepared your pipes are for that chilly weather. Unfortunately, as a result, your pipes can freeze, leading eventually to burst pipes—which is where the real problem lies.
Don’t let your plumbing become victim to the cold. Follow these simple tips to keep your plumbing system in great shape this winter.
Leave Outdoor Faucets Open
First, turn off the source to your outdoor faucets and hoses. Then, let them drain completely and leave them open. You may want to put insulating caps on your faucets, and it’s a good idea to store hoses in a relatively dry and warm space like your garage or tool shed.
Keep Your Garage Doors Shut
Speaking of your garage, it’s wise to keep everything tightly sealed in cold winter weather to prevent heat loss that leads to discomfort for you, and freeze for your pipes!
Make sure you close your garage door during the winter and keep it shut as much as possible to keep the water supply lines running through this space flowing. Too many homeowners leave the garage door cracked a bit to allow fresh air in without thinking about the fact that this can lead to pipe freeze.
Plan Ahead If Vacationing
Are you going away at all this holiday season? The cold weather certainly does make many of us retreat to warmer weather. That’s great, but be sure to plan ahead! Keep your plumbing and your home thawed out by setting your furnace or heat pump to about 50° to keep a steady flow of heat, decreasing the chance of any of your pipes freezing.
Let Water Run
Is this wasteful? A little. But, if you know you have certain pipes that are susceptible to freezing and temperatures are going to be below 30°F for a bit, it’s a wise idea to let water trickle out of the affected faucets during the coldest periods to keep a steady flow going and prevent freezing.
Keep Your Heat On
We mentioned this above in the vacationing tip—but it’s a good idea whether you’re vacationing or not. We get that you may want to turn your heat off during points of the day to save money—but first off, your heater uses most of its energy turning on, so this is a bit counterintuitive.
Secondly, it’s important to maintain a consistent temperature above freeing to keep your pipes flowing.
Keep Your Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets Cracked Open
This allows the heat from your heater to reach the pipes under your sinks. These pipes are often located in walls that face the outdoors, making them more prone to freezing. But by allowing heat to avoid them, you may be able to avoid this problem.
“What If My Pipes Freeze Anyway?”
Don’t try to thaw frozen pipes on your own! It’s not actually the freezing that is damaging, but the thawing process. It creates negative pressure in the pipes and leads to bursting. This results in flooding, property damage, and potentially even injury. Please give our team a call if you notice you have frozen pipes.