How to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 8:00 AM (EST)
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Sub-Zero Temperatures | GreyDock Blog
Article Intro

Avoid plumbing catastrophes with these tips to prevent frozen pipes (and what to do if they do freeze).

When the bitter cold rolls around each winter, homeowners often get concerned about their plumbing. Pipes are quick to freeze in sub-zero temperatures and can burst if they aren’t taken care of. And, you guessed it—it leads to a lot of unwanted damage that can cost thousands.

Thankfully preventing frozen pipes is simple. Until spring rolls around, chances are there’s still a few cold days tucked up mother nature’s sleeve. Here’s what you can do the rest of the winter to prevent frozen pipes.

Keep Your Heating Consistent

It’s nice to turn down the heat while you’re sleeping, but a lot of freezing can happen overnight when temperatures drop. Keep the thermostat at a set temperature throughout the day. If you’re heading out for vacation, don’t set the temperature to anything lower than 55°F.

Open the Cabinets

For those extra frigid winter days, keep the doors of your kitchen or vanity cabinets open. This will circulate warm air around the exposed plumbing to prevent freezing.

Open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around plumbing to prevent freezing.

Pay Attention to Nightly Lows

Temperatures can plummet quickly overnight in the winter. Don’t get caught off guard and let a big drop cause your plumbing to freeze. As we mentioned before, keeping your home’s temperature consistent will help.

Add Insulation

There’s a range of products available to insulate your pipes. From foam sleeves to heat tape, adding an extra protective layer will prevent frozen pipes this winter.

Insulate your pipes with a foam sleeve to prevent them from freezing.

Sometimes you do all you can to prevent frozen pipes. But if they do freeze, follow these tips:

Turn Up the Heat

Frozen pipes hidden behind walls are quite the predicament, especially if they aren’t accessible. In that case, turn up your heat a few degrees and wait for them to thaw. For plumbing located near outside walls, consider installing an access panel

Use Electrical Appliances

Never use an open flame (like a blowtorch) to thaw your frozen pipes. There’s no way to damage them faster! Instead try using a handheld blow dryer or portable space heater on its lowest setting. However, be sure to keep an eye on the heater and don’t use it around standing water.

Use a blow dryer to help thaw frozen pipes. Never use an open flame.

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If a pipe does burst, shut off the main water valve immediately. Call your plumber and take photos of any damage for insurance purposes.

Sub-zero temperatures can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing. Take the time to winterize your pipes now before any serious damage happens. You’ll thank yourself later!

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