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How to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes: A Cold Season Survival Guide

Written by A. Borrelli Mechanical on 11.07.23


As the cold season starts to set in, one of the most common and potentially damaging issues homeowners face is frozen water pipes. When water freezes within pipes, it can lead to blockages, pressure buildup, and potential pipe bursts, causing extensive damage to your home and costly repairs. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to prevent frozen water pipes and safeguard your home this winter.

Insulate Exposed Pipes 

Start by insulating all exposed pipes, particularly those in unheated areas such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces. Pipe insulation sleeves or heat tape can effectively protect these vulnerable areas from freezing temperatures.

Maintain Interior Temperatures

Keep your home consistently warm, even when you're away. Setting the thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit helps prevent drastic temperature drops that could freeze pipes.

Seal Leaks and Cracks 

Seal any gaps or cracks in windows, doors, or walls that allow cold air to enter and affect the indoor temperature. This not only conserves energy but also helps maintain a warmer environment for your plumbing.

Let Faucets Drip 

Allowing faucets to drip slightly can alleviate pressure within the pipes, preventing freezing. This is particularly beneficial for faucets connected to pipes running along exterior walls.

Open Cabinet Doors 

In areas where plumbing is located, such as under sinks, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

Drain Outdoor Faucets and Hoses 

Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses and turn off the outdoor water supply. Additionally, consider insulating outdoor faucets to prevent freezing.

Act Quickly During Extreme Cold 

During severe cold snaps, take extra precautions. Leave all faucets dripping, and consider using space heaters in unheated areas to ensure sufficient warmth around exposed pipes.

Emergency Preparedness 

In the event of freezing, be prepared. Locate your main water shut-off valve and know how to turn off the water supply in case of a burst pipe.

Don't let frozen water pipes disrupt your peace of mind this winter. With these preventative measures, you can safeguard your home from the perils of frozen plumbing and enjoy a cozy and stress-free season.

Topics: Winter, Home Health and Maintenance

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