Safe In 60: The Best Ways To Avoid The Headache Of Frozen Pipes

Nov 18, 2019, 8:12 AM

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – It might be second nature to winterize your sprinkler system each fall. But what about the pipes inside your home? Properly protecting exposed lines could save you thousands in costly water damage.

Burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during the winter months.

The most vulnerable areas in your home are water supply lines in basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, under kitchen and bathroom sinks and all pipes that run along exterior walls, especially where there is no heat or insulation.

So how do we protect these areas?

  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces.
  • Consider products that help insulate pipes in those vulnerable areas, like pipe sleeves. They are available at hardware stores for just a few dollars.
  • Open kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors so the warmer air can circulate around the plumbing.
  • Never set your thermostat below 55 degrees. Areas that are consistently colder than the rest of the house could reach freezing temperatures.
  • When it is extremely cold outside, or you think you may have problems with pipes freezing, you can let cold water drip from the faucet. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle can help prevent it from freezing.
  • Space heaters can be used in extra cold spaces to keep pipes from freezing. Just always be careful of fire hazards.

If you are leaving for an extended period and want to turn the heat down below 55 degrees, consider turning the water supply off to your home and draining your pipes of water.

If you are not getting the pressure out of your faucet that you usually do, it could be a sign of a frozen pipe. If the pipe hasn’t yet burst and you know the area where it’s frozen, try using a heating pad, a blow dryer, or towels soaked in hot water to help thaw the freeze. Keep thawing the pipe until the faucet has regained full pressure.

If the faucet doesn’t return to full pressure, or you can’t fix or locate the source, call a licensed plumber.

If you have one frozen pipe, there could be others. Check other faucets throughout the house to make sure you don’t have any additional problems.

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Safe In 60: The Best Ways To Avoid The Headache Of Frozen Pipes