One of the most prominent nuances of winter is the possibility of your plumbing pipes freezing. To lessen the chance of this happening in your humble abode, below are six ways you can help reduce the risk and prevent a plumbing nightmare from occurring.
6 Ways to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing
1. Start Outside
If you haven’t done so before the start of winter, head outside and make sure that all garden hoses are disconnected from any hose bibs or faucets. Next, shut off the water source (inside your home) for the faucet or hose bib. Once complete, make sure that all remaining H2O within the fixture is drained to the very last drop.
2. Let the Faucet Drip
Typically, a dripping faucet is frowned upon and isn’t something to take lightly. However, in this case, it can help prevent your pipes from freezing. To make this work properly, turn on the faucets in your home — only to make them drip. Doing this will help water continue to move through the pipe and lower the possibility of it freezing.
3. Insulate Pipes with Foam
Do you know how a winter jacket will keep you warm on the chillest of days? Foam insulation wraps can do the same for your pipes! While this method won’t necessarily stop them from freezing altogether (especially if the temperature plummets drastically), it can help slow things down and lessen the chance of the pipes reaching their freezing point.
4. Use Electrical Heat Tape
If you’re looking to take things up a notch, consider using electrical heat tape. This particular type of adhesive can be wrapped around pipes and help keep them warm. When utilizing electrical heat tape, make sure to follow the directions carefully to avoid a potentially dangerous situation from occurring.
5. Open up the Cabinets
While this may seem a tad outlandish, opening up each under-the-sink cabinet can help prevent your pipes from freezing. This method works because any heat produced in your home will travel into the cabinets — an area that's usually blocked off.
6. Make Sure Stubborn Spaces are Heated
Just because you set your thermostat to a certain temperature doesn't mean every room in your house is being evenly heated. Areas, such as basements, often go cold and could use a little extra TLC.
To help avoid a potential problem, consider having a permanent heating solution installed in a stubborn area since you’ll want to forgo space heaters (they’re more of a safety hazard than a help). Now, if you do have a heating solution, and it’s not holding up its end of the bargain, give your trusted HVAC technician a call to repair the problem at hand.