Take these Precautions to Avoid Frozen Pipes in Your Home this Winter

Take these Precautions to Avoid Frozen Pipes in Your Home this WinterAccording to a major insurer, about 250,000 homes are subject to damage from frozen pipes every winter. It doesn’t take a catastrophic rupture: a tiny 1/8-inch split in a household water supply line can gush over 250 gallons of water daily — often in unseen areas of the structure, where mounting damage isn’t immediately obvious.

Generally, there’s sufficient latent heat in water inside pipes to prevent freezing down to 28 degrees. Once the forecast calls for more severe frigid temps, however, it’s time to make sure you’re protected from frozen pipes by taking these precautions.

  • Know the location of the main water shutoff valve for the house and test it yearly to make sure it turns.
  • Wherever water supply lines are accessible, cover them with slip-on foam pipe insulation available at any home center.
  • Look for any openings that allow frigid outdoor air to penetrate the underside of the house and contact water pipes. A good way is to get in the crawl space during daytime and look for sunlight shining in. Seal these openings to prevent air intrusion.
  • When freezing weather is forecast, disconnect outdoor garden hoses, drain water out of the hose and store it. If you have freeze-proof outdoor faucets, turn off the water to each and drain the faucet. If you don’t, place insulated faucet covers on outdoor faucets.
  • During cold snaps, maintain indoor temperatures of at least 65 degrees, 24 hours a day. Open cabinet and closet doors to allow air to circulate into all wall spaces.
  • In severe frigid conditions, open cold and hot water taps in the house to allow a continuous trickle of water. This relieves pipe-bursting pressure inside the water line should ice form.
  • If you suspect a frozen pipe—sudden low or no water pressure is a red flag—don’t wait for the pipe to thaw to confirm your suspicions. Turn off the main household water valve and contact a plumber immediately.

Serving the Wabash Valley since 1922, the professionals at Paitson Bros. has more helpful hints to avoid frozen pipes this winter.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about preventing frozen pipes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Renate Micallef/Shutterstock”

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