How To Protect Plumbing in Freezing Temperatures

When water freezes, it expands. So it is extremely important to protect the plumbing at very low temperatures to avoid broken pipes. Pipes in basements, garages, garden sheds and other unheated areas can lead to damage and repair expenses. Follow these useful tips to prevent the risk of freezing pipes.

1. Measure the diameter of any pipe that is at the risk of freezing. Buy insulating foam sealant of the same size from building supply stores. This insulator is divisible in half, divide it and distribute it through the pipe. You may need to cut some to fit in more pipes.

2. Disconnect hoses from outside the house, which allows water to drain out of the pipes that are connected. When one is connected, an overnight freezing can cause cracks on tap or pipes.

3. Caulk cracks and holes with mass caulking or foam sealant to cover any access port that is not used during the coldest period. You can cover them with hay bales and plastic or straw, which work well in basement doors.

4. Wrap heating tape instead of foam around pipes that are more susceptible to freezing, such as those that are in unheated areas. Plug in the ribbon to an output of electricity, when the weather forecast indicates that the temperature will drop significantly.

5. Add warmth with a small electric heater with thermostat or, in small areas, install an incandescent lamp with a screw base socket to prevent freezing.

6. Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow heat to reach the pipes in basements and interconnected areas.

7. If the temperature drops too much and you can not adequately protect the pipeline, leave faucets dripping to keep the water moving in the pipes. During this type of weather, fully open the taps once every two or three hours to determine any decrease in the velocity of the flow, thus indicating a possible freezing.

8. If a pipe freezes, thaw it with a hair dryer on low speed. Heating it too fast can break it.

9. Close all the water in the house records, if you plan to leave for a long period of time during a harsh winter.

10. Consider installing a permanent source of heating in areas with problematic vain, if you live in a place with harsh winters. An opening in the supply duct heated air, can prevent freezing pipes and can be capped when the weather is milder.