Keeping Your Pipes from Freezing

As the seasons change, different types of maintenance are required to keep your house and its inner workings properly working. Here, I will tell you how to keep your pipes from freezing and what to do if you get a pipe that does freeze. Before I move on, there is one thing you should know that can save you a lot of hassle and a huge mess. This one thing you need to know is where your water shut off is at. Even if you live somewhere where your pipes will never freeze you still need to know where this thing is. You wouldn’t believe how much water comes out of a broken pipe, you can have a gallons, yes, gallons of water on the ground in a matter of minutes. I would even recommend practicing shutting off your main water supply. The quicker you get there the less hassle you’ll have.

Pipes that freeze break because when water freezes it expands. There are actually two things that can happen, the pipe will either burst at the time of freezing or the ice can actually crack the pipe without bursting but you will get leaks as soon as the pipe thaws out. Either way, you have to replace the section of pipe but at least with the cracking instead of the bursting, you don’t have such a huge mess. Obviously the most vulnerable are the pipes outside or in an un-insulated area.

Pipes in exterior walls are also susceptible to freezing and also those pipes inside cabinets for sinks and things like that. One way to prevent this is to open up the cupboards and let the warmer air from your house circulate around the pipes. Some people say to put some sort of portable heater under your cupboard but all this does is creates a fire hazard. Trust me, a broken pipe is better than a burnt down house, don’t take the chance. Another good trick to do if possible, on really cold nights leave a trickle of water running in at least one of your sinks, this keeps the water circulating throughout the pipe and doesn’t allow the water to freeze.

If you have pipes that are on exterior walls that are accessible you can put some insulation around them, however this situation rarely arises. For pipes outside it’s relatively safe. If the weather is going to get cold you must un-hook your hoses from the faucets and if it’s still in the spring or you still want to keep your outside water accessible, wrap your pipes and faucets with a towel or some sort of insulation. Obviously don’t keep windows or doors open that are near pipes, it usually takes a lot to freeze a pipe, but you will find that it will happen when you least expect it.

It is actually fairly easy to fix a broken pipe but the real disaster is if you don’t know where the water shut off is. You probably think I’m being redundant but this will really save you a huge mess. Having a frozen pipe is not fun, adding a few hundred gallons of water in the mix definitely do not help. Hope this helps….

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