Keep Your Pipes from Bursting

Keep Your Pipes from Bursting

Ian Keefe House Photograph

While it may not feel like the dead of winter right now you should now what to do for your pipes when the weather is freezing. Frozen pipes can cause many headaches so it’s best to avoid them. The water in the pipe will freeze and create enough pressure in the pipe for it to eventually burst. The number one way to prevent frozen pipes is to keep them warm (at least warm enough to keep from freezing). There are several ways to keep your pipes warm this winter.

#1 Turn On Your Heat

No, you don’t have to turn the heat up to 70 degrees all the time. Keeping the temperature just above 50 F will suffice. Your electricity bill might be a little more expensive but your bill will be a lot less expensive than having to replace flooring and other possessions.

#2 Dripping Faucet

Leave your faucet on just enough so that water drips from it. This in turn relieves the pipe of pressure that we learned earlier is the cause of burst pipes. Do you have both hot and cold-water pipes? Open both faucet taps slightly or set a single-handle faucet to warm.

#3 Add Heating Tape or Insulation

Have you ever been in the warmth of an electric blanket? Heating tape is like a heated blanket for your pipes. There are two types of tape for pipes which are worth investigating if you have pipes that are prone to freezing and are easily accessible. Exposed piping should be insulated with wrapping or insulation sleeves. Watch for pipes in basements, attics, or crawl spaces; the places pipes are likely to be in unheated and uninsulated areas.

#4 Open Doors

Keeping cabinet doors open can help improve airflow so your pipes stay warmer than if they were shut. It’s not an attractive look for your kitchen but it sure beats coming home to water everywhere.