Tips To Ensure The Pipes Do Not Freeze In The Winter
When water freezes, it expands; which means that water frozen in pipes will expand and may cause pipes to burst. This can happen in the Bay Area – don’t think it can’t.
If this happens, you are going to have to bear some high repair or replacement costs. To avoid this, there are certain precautions you can take to ensure that water supply through pipes is close to normal in winters as well.
Whether you are building a new house or want to maintain your current pipe system, following these steps can help you increase the life of water pipes and avoid high utility bills.
- Don’t put pipes in cold areas
If it is in your hands, ensure that water pipes are in heated areas and not in the attic or other areas of the house that are close to the exterior walls.
Pipes that come close to cold air will freeze quickly as heat is transferred from the water to the air. Even if you install high quality, strong pipes, freezing water can cause bursting.
- Let water off from taps
It is said that running water seldom freezes. So even if it is a trickle, let the cold water in your water pipes off, especially if you feel that the pipes are already frozen quite a bit.
If you are leaving the house for a few days or so, you must drain the entire system or keep faucets open to ensure that there is no water in the pipes that can freeze and cause bursting. This is a high possibility especially when the heating in the house is switched off.
- Open cabinet doors
Keeping cabinet doors that cover water pipes open allows the heat inside the house to reach the pipes, keeping the cold temperatures at bay and avoiding freezing.
This may seem inconvenient and a trivial effort, but every bit of heat that you can provide to the pipes helps. If not all, you can keep the doors to kitchen and bathroom cabinets open as you surely do not want water supply to get interrupted in those areas.
- Seal wall cracks and holes
Whether your house is new or old, there are bound to be some wires or pipes running through the walls and getting exposed to outside air.
If you live in an area that is prone to freezing temperatures, it is a good idea to seal and fill all the holes and cracks near water pipes. Caulking all doors and windows is also a must.
It seals any cracks or leaks around windows and doors so that no hot air can escape and no cold air can enter the house. This also keeps your heating system from over-working to compensate for the energy loss caused due to leaky windows.
- Additional tips
Run heating tapes along the water pipes to reduce heat transfer. If your garage has water pipes inside, keep the doors closed. Keep your thermostat temperature constant day and night. Place a light bulb in cold areas to warm the pipes and walls.