Frozen is popular if you’re talking about the animated movie event of 2014. Frozen is not popular if you’re talking about your household pipes.
This winter, as the temperatures fall let’s protect our household from burst pipes with these 7 tips.
Let’s work from the outside to the inside of the home.
1. Inspect Water Meters
First off, check to see if the lid is broken or missing from your water meter. Secondly, use an old blanket or insulating material to fill the pit under the lid.
2. Store Water Hoses
Since outdoor faucets and hoses are the first to freeze, you’ll want to winterize by removing the hoses, storing them, and covering the faucets with an outdoor faucet cover as mentioned in this Master Household Maintenance Checklist.
3. Insulate Pipes
Pipes located near exterior walls in unheated areas of the home need insulation ~ think basements and crawl spaces. Home Improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot will most likely carry pipe insulation or heat tape to cover exposed pipes.
4. Check for Drafts
There are multiple ways masses of cold air can enter your home. If you have a basement home, check that windows are closed and well sealed. If they’re broken or cracked, they’ll need to be repaired or course. If you have a crawl space with vents be sure the vents are closed for winter. AlsoAlso, make sure the exterior door leading into the crawl space is tightly shut.
If you notice drafts coming into the heated areas of your home, such as thru a fireplace, but you don’t want to close the flue as you’ll be using the fireplace, you can invest in a fireplace blocker blanket. We actually use this on our gas fireplace. If you don’t use the fireplace, you may want to invest in a fireplace chimney draft stopper
5. Open Cabinet Doors
Tip 5 is in the event of a deep freeze. When the cabinet doors under sinks are open, the heat from your home will warm the pipes, and help ward off a freeze.
6. Keep Water Running
Again, in the event of a deep freeze, (10 degrees or colder) let a tap located farthest from the water meter to run lightly. You want a thin stream flowing out of the faucet, rather than an intermittent drip.
7. Thaw Pipes
If the worst case scenario occurs and a pipe does freeze, and you are able to determine which section is frozen, you can use a hair dryer to thaw that area. If that doesn’t work you’ll most likely need to call a plumber.
P.S. How about you, what do you find helpful to prevent burst pipes?