JOPLIN, Mo. — When temperatures plummet, the chances of your pipes freezing are eminent. In wintertime, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage, causing thousands of dollars in water damage. Pipes in unheated interior spaces, like your attic, garage and basement, are almost waiting to freeze during frigid weather. Pipes that freeze the most frequently include:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hoses, swimming pool supply lines, sprinkler lines, and outdoor faucets
- Pipes in unheated areas such as basements, attics, garages, cabinets, or crawl spaces
- Pipes that run near or within exterior walls that have little or no insulation
The good news is there are some ways to prevent pipe freezing without spending too much money or time. The moment temperatures start to drop outside, you should start taking preventative measures to protect your pipes from freezing. If you missed these preventive measures, you could recognize freezing pipes when you notice reduced flow at faucets – that’s the first sign of icing forming in the pipes. Liberty Utilities has some steps you can take to winterize your pipes and prevent damage from freezing temperatures.
Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes During Cold Weather
- Keep your home temperature set no lower than 55°F.
- When it is below freezing outside for an extended period, let cold water drip from your faucets served by exposed or potentially poorly insulated pipes. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Protect your pipes by wrapping them in insulation or heat tape.
- If pipes run through cabinets, open the doors to let warmer room temperatures flow in. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children or pets.
- Identify your home’s freezing points. Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines. Fix drafty windows and plug drafts around doors.
- Keep garage doors closed if water pipes are located there.
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Tips To Follow If You Do Have Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and no water or only a trickle comes out, you likely have a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- If you have a frozen pipe, keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Thaw pipes with warm air such as a hair dryer or space heater. Do not leave a space heater unattended and do not use kerosene heaters or open flames.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
- Be careful turning water back on. Once pipes are thawed, slowly turn the water back on and check pipes and joints for any cracks.
You can find more information from Liberty Utilities on preventing leaks and frozen water pipes, HERE.