How to Prevent Pipes from Bursting
Cold weather results in cold pipes, which can freeze and burst as soon as they hit 31 degrees F. Don’t let this to happen to you! Exploding pipes can result in a flooded basement and thousands of dollars in damages. Even an 1/8 crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water per day. Say you go out of town for the weekend and don't know about it? You will come home to a huge mess!
The problematic pipes:
- Pipes on the exterior of your home.
- Pipes near exterior walls.
- Pipes in unheated areas.
How to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting:
Disconnect your garden hose before the first freeze.
Turn off and drain your outdoor spigots. Use a faucet insulator if your spigot isn’t frost-proof. Here is an insulator available on Amazon.
Never let your furnace get lower than 55 degrees, even if you are not there.
Shut off the main water if you are leaving for a long period of time.
Open up cabinet doors to heat up your sink pipes naturally.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply pipes in the garage.
Top 3 Reasons That Pipes Burst
- Poor insulation
- Thermostat set too low
- Unexpected drops in temperature
For exposed pipes:
The pipes in your basement should be okay, but pipes in the attic, garage, or crawl spaces may be at risk. You can use foam pipe insulation or install heating tape/cable to make sure your pipes are protected. Here are some pipe insulation options available at Home Depot.
How to thaw out frozen pipes:
If water isn’t flowing out of your pipes properly, your pipes may be somewhat frozen. Keep water running through the pipe as you thaw it out. Add heat to the section with an electric heating pad or hot water. The pipes should thaw out and your water should flow normally. Call a plumber if don’t feel comfortable doing this.
If your pipes do burst:
Turn off electricity.
Turn off your water.
Call a plumber right away.
Try to contain the leak in a bucket.
Once the leak has been fixed use a dehumidifier and/or industrial fans to dry things out.
Worst case scenario:
Worst comes to worst, you might need to reroute pipes if they freeze frequently. This may seem spendy at the time, but it will save you money from damages in the long run.
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