When the temperatures dip below freezing, your plumbing pipes are more likely to freeze. Frozen pipes can burst and lead to a lot of water damage in your home. Your pipes are more prone to freezing if they are located on the exterior walls or not insulated properly. The good news is that you can take preventative measures to lower your risk of frozen pipes. Here are nine helpful tips for avoiding frozen pipes.
Turn Up Your Thermostat
Heating your home can definitely get expensive during the winter, so you may be tempted to keep your thermostat as low as possible. However, if you set your thermostat too low, the pipes can freeze and burst. The water damage will cost much more than any heating bill you receive. To prevent frozen pipes, have your thermostat set to at least 65 degrees.
If your pipes are not well insulated, they are more likely to freeze when the temperatures get really cold. Covering your pipes with fiberglass insulation can protect them and keep them from freezing. If you are not comfortable installing fiberglass insulation, you can always hire a professional to do the job for you.
Use a Space Heater
A space heater does not just keep you nice and toasty during the winter; it can also prevent your pipes from freezing. If your pipes are not well insulated, consider placing an electric heater next to them.
Let Cold Water Drip from the Faucet
Another way you can prevent frozen pipes is to let cold water drip from the faucet. When the temperatures get extremely cold, letting the faucet run for even a couple of minutes can relieve built-up water pressure and prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting.
Remove Garden Hoses
One of the simplest ways you can prevent frozen pipes during the winter is to remove garden hoses that are attached to your outdoor faucets. If you do not put these garden hoses away, you are just asking for your pipes to freeze and burst.
Wrap Pipes With Heat Tape
If you have problem pipes that are susceptible to freezing, think about wrapping them with heat tape. Heat tape will keep the heat in your pipes so that they do not burst open. Purchase heat tape with a built-in thermostat to prevent your pipes from overheating.
Look for Gaps in Your Foundation
If there are gaps in your foundation, your pipes are more likely to freeze during the winter. That is why you should take the time to inspect your foundation for gaps every couple of months, If you find gaps, you should seal them with caulk right away.
Keep Your Garage Door Closed
It might sound obvious, but you should always keep your garage door closed during the wintertime. Leaving it open for even a little bit can cause the pipes to freeze.
Open Cabinet Doors Under Sink
If the cabinets under your kitchen and bathroom sinks are located on the exterior walls, you should always keep them open. Doing this will help keep more heat in your pipes.
Frozen pipes are a nuisance, so you should do what you can to prevent them. If you follow these helpful tips, you can avoid frozen pipes in the winter. However, if your pipes still do freeze, do not panic. After you have opened the faucet the pipes run through, you should heat the pipes with a heat lamp, hair dryer or portable heater for at least an hour. If that still does not work, you should have an experienced plumber come look at your pipes as soon as possible.