One of the common plumbing issues you may face in your home is frozen water pipes. This usually happens in winter when water freezes up and expands within the pipes due to temperatures falling below freezing point. Freezing makes water pipes susceptible to bursting and is likely to happen in water pipes located in basements, crawlspaces, attics and exterior walls.
Burst water pipes can waste several gallons of water if left unattended but can also be expensive to repair. Therefore, knowing how to prevent pipes from freezing is critical to preventing water supply disruption but also avoiding costly plumbing repair work.
Here's how to keep your water pipes from freezing and bursting:
Insulate problem pipes
The primary reason why water pipes running in basements, crawlspaces, attics and exterior walls freeze is because they are exposed to very cold temperatures. To help protect these pipes from bursting, it is important to wrap them with insulation such as foam rubber insulation available for piping. It is important to note that the insulation alone won't fully prevent water from freezing in your pipes — it will only help to lower the chances of freezing. Keep in mind that the more insulation you use, the greater the level of thermal insulation they will provide.
Keep the pipes warm
Warming your water pipes in the face of extreme winter conditions is also vital to preventing freezing issues. One way to achieve this is by heating up unheated spaces like basements and attics. By heating the air in such areas, your water pipes will be protected from the cold air circulating around them in winter. In addition, you should consider wrapping your water pipes with heater tapes. This will help keep the pipes warm thus reducing the risk of freezing even further.
Let your water faucets drip a bit
Another great way of preventing your water pipes from freezing is to leave water faucets slightly open during time of the day when temperatures are coldest. This will help keep the water flowing, thus reducing chances of ice formation within your pipes due to extremely cold weather. Be sure to collect the water that drips from your faucets.
Despite your best efforts to prevent frozen water pipes, extreme winter temperatures can still cause water to freeze inside your pipes. So, it is always a good idea to learn how to thaw freezing water pipes. If you are unsure about how to unfreeze your water pipes, you can always hire a professional plumbing service.