Now that cold weather has arrived, the danger of pipes freezing has increased. There are a few precautionary measures that can be taken in order to ensure your pipes don’t burst due to freezing waters and temperatures.
C&S Plumbing Plumber Jeff Crouse said there are a number of things to do in order to prepare for the winter.
Check all hoses & connections
Disconnect all exterior hoses from the faucets, ensuring the connector (which he referred to as the “bibb”) is completely sealed off. Also make sure that any pipe exposed to the weather is completely wrapped and sealed. If there are exposed pipes that cannot be wrapped, make sure they are drained and empty.
Prepare pipes for freezing
To prepare pipes, one thing you can do is wrap them with heat tape. To use and apply, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product packaging. Crouse also said to ensure hydrants are turned off, and if there are pipes that are prone to freezing it is best to use the heat tape as a means of prevention.
Leave a faucet running
Water expanding as it freezes can break pipes because the water has nowhere to go as it expands.The best way to keep that from happening is to leave the water flowing while temperatures are below freezing. If there is low water pressure as the pipes begin to freeze, it is best to turn the faucet all the way “open” to allow the water the best chance to flow. When going out of town, he recommended pouring half a cup of anti-freeze down all your drains and toilets as well as “opening up” all the faucets.
Crouse said the smartest thing to do if your pipes freeze is to open all the cupboards under the sinks to let the warm air in. Then make sure all faucets are opened all the way to let the water begin flowing. Doing anything while the pipes are frozen could potentially lead to breaks — or worse, damage down the road. Crouse advised leaving things as is until the temperature rises back above freezing before calling a plumber, as it would be difficult to tell if there is a leak while the pipes are frozen.
Use extra caution if living in a trailer or mobile home
Crouse said to ensure the underpinning of your trailer or mobile home is complete without gaps. Pipes need to be wrapped if they are exposed to the elements and any vents on the underpinning need to be closed off.