By Amy Howell Hirt
Prevent Pipes From Freezing Torch Blog Banner
Did you know that one frozen pipe could result in thousands of dollars in water damage? Water expands as it freezes and can break even the strongest pipes inside your home. Pipes at particular risk include those that run along poorly insulated exterior walls and those located in unheated spaces, such as the basement, garage, attic or crawl space. Keep your pipes safe and your home dry this winter by following these simple steps.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing:

  • Check unheated areas for water supply lines and insulate both hot and cold pipes, using pipe sleeves or UL-listed heat tape. Adding wall and floor insulation to these spaces can also help by raising the air temperature around the pipes.
  • When outdoor temperatures drop below about 25 degrees Fahrenheit, indoor pipes are more prone to freezing, so take precautions. If a sink is located on an exterior wall, open the cabinet doors to allow warmer air around the pipes.
  • If temperatures are extremely cold, turn on the faucet near an exposed pipe to allow cold water to drip, which will help prevent the pipe from freezing.
  • If you plan to travel during very cold weather, it's a good idea to keep the thermostat set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you will be gone for an extended period, turn off your home's water supply at the main valve.
  • If you turn on a faucet and get just a trickle of water, you may have a frozen pipe. Before you attempt to fix it, locate your home's primary shutoff valveā€”if the pipe has cracked, you'll need to turn the water off quickly. The shutoff valve is typically located where the water main enters your home, often in the basement, a crawl space or garage.
  • Next, leave water trickling from the faucet, which will help thaw the pipe, and locate what part of the pipe is frozen. It typically will be exposed and extremely cold to the touch. If you can't find the pipe or the area isn't accessible, you may need to call a plumber.


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