How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter
Posted on December 18, 2015.
At Global Guardians, our live-in guardians ensure that your home stays safe not only from potential thieves and burglars, but they make sure your home doesn’t fall to a lack of care. Through the winter months, this means they’re constantly vigilant for frozen pipes, which can cause mass damage to your home. There are various ways you can prevent frozen pipes to avoid water damage.
Ensure your pipes are dry and insulate them from cold moving air
To prevent freezing pipes, you have to do more than merely insulate them, as this only slows the rate of heat transfer. If you’re not going to be using your water for any length of time, it’s a good idea to locate your main water cut off. By having to regularly thaw your pipes, you greatly increase your risk of leaks.
Remember pipes in basements and crawl spaces
By using a heat lamp focused on your pipes in any crawl spaces or basements, you can prevent freezing. If a draft goes over any pipes, you can easily build a wooden box enclosure to protect it from freezing winds.
Heater tapes and heated lamps work well in enclosed spaces
You should always check that your heater lamps are working if the night is going to be especially cold. Heater tape works through an in-built thermostat. You will need to place it between the pipe and the pipe’s insulation, but some tapes aren’t safe to put insulation over, so always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
What to do if you need to thaw your pipes
Before you do anything else, check the area of the freeze. Both plastic and copper pipes can split and flood the house when thawed. If your pipe looks split or bust in any way, you will need to phone a professional plumber.
To thaw a metal pipe, you can connect a welder to either side of the frozen area. It’s not recommended to do this unless you’re already familiar with your welder and you should always remember to read your instruction manual before you use it.
To lower the chances of a fire, you can use a hair dryer, a heat lamp or an electric space heater
Be careful when using any of these devices, as the high temperatures could cause certain materials to set on fire. If any of these items are being used to thaw your pipes, never leave them unattended. If you can’t be there to thaw your pipes in this way, it’s best to call a plumber.
Disconnect any external water hoses before the temperature falls
You should always disconnect your water hose from your outdoor spigot in the winter before any cold spells occur. This is because as the water inside the hose freezes, the freezing will extend to your internal water pipes, which may cause burst pipes.