6 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can be costly and inconvenient, and are certainly one of the more troublesome parts of winter weather. Pipes freeze when the water inside them drops below freezing point, causing the water in the pipe to freeze and expand. As a result, an increase in water pressure is created between the tap and the blockage, and this can eventually lead to cracking or breakage of the pipe. A telltale sign of a frozen pipe is a decrease in water flow, and if this happens, quick action should be taken.
So how can you prevent frozen pipes? For some hints and tricks, read on to see our 6 top tips to prevent frozen pipes.
Preparation is key
It may seem pessimistic, but you should always prepare for the worst – you will thank yourself if a burst pipe were to actually occur. Identify where the shut off valve is so you can take quick action to stop the water flow in the event of a burst pipe. You may also wish to either buy or make a pipe patch-up kit to perform a temporary fix until the professionals arrive.
Drain away the excess water
Think ahead and consider any pipes that might not be in use over an approaching period of harsh weather. Pipes that deliver water to your swimming pool, along with hoses and garden sprinklers should all be drained of excess water if you’re expecting a dose of icy conditions. If any excess water is left behind in these pipes, the freeze and thaw action can cause these pipe lines to crack, along with inducing other drainage and leaking issues.
Warm up your home
One of the simplest things you can do to fend off frozen pipes is to maintain a decent heat level in your home. Always make sure to have your thermostat set at a temperature that is not too cold, especially during the night and at times when your home is vacant. Whilst you may be concerned for your heating bills, this approach ensures that the water in your pipes does not drop below freezing point.
You may also wish to give pipes in crawl spaces, basements and attics some individual attention. If the weather outside has taken a turn for the worst, you can warm up any exposed piping with heat lamps or electric heaters.
Control the airflow
Influx of chilly air can impact your pipes’ ability to avoid the freezing danger zone. Pipes are often routed in naturally draughty places such as garages, making this area of the home vulnerable to pipe freezing. To combat this, try and keep your garage as warm as possible by keeping the doors shut and implementing additional insulation and heating measures. Pipes are often located in cabinets and cupboards, so to make sure that warm airflow is circulating around the pipes stationed here, open up the cabinet doors as often as you can.
Insulation, insulation, insulation
To slow the rate of conductive cooling, insulating your pipes could be a big help. Assess the existing insulation around your pipes in the vulnerable, colder parts of your home, such as the basement and the attic. If more needs to be added, use foam board or fibreglass insulation, making sure to use correct protective equipment when doing any DIY. Another option is electric heat tape, which plugs into a nearby socket and keeps your pipes warm by emitting heat.
Keep the water flowing
On occasions when the weather is particularly brutal, your best hope of avoiding freezing is to keep the molecules of water flowing by keeping one or two taps lightly flowing.
If you have followed the above steps and you still end up with frozen pipe damage, don’t panic. Turn off the water flow and call a reliable plumber – they will be able to remove the blockage and make some repairs, restoring your pipes back to full health.
Established in 1988, the specialists at Jet Rod have been performing comprehensive drainage services in and around the North West of England, including Warrington, Macclesfield, Stockport and Crewe. Our professionals are trained in providing expert domestic and commercial drainage services, including drain and pipe unblocking, cleaning and repairs. To find out more, get in touch today and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.