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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Adventures in Tips: From The Plumber #5 ~ Preventing Frozen Pipes

It has been a while since we have had any tips from the plumber! 
(Did you know Daniel is a plumber?!)

Since the weather is SO cold here (and in many other parts of the country) I thought I would get Daniel to give you/me some tips about frozen water pipes. He does LOTS of work replacing frozen water pipes in the winter months...and it can be a HUGE mess...

The best thing to do is to take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place! 
(So today is prevention and next week will be what to do if you discover you have frozen pipes)

Tips to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing especially if the sink is on an exterior wall. Daniel almost always does this with our kitchen sink if we are going out of town in the winter. Sometimes he will leave them open overnight if it is going to be exceptionally cold. 

Often if we are going to be away for a few days we will set our thermostat a few degrees cooler to save energy - however to prevent frozen pipes - you should never set to a temperature lower than 55° F. It is worth paying a little bit for the energy it takes to keep the house that warm, rather than paying a lot to clean up the mess that frozen pipes can make! 

When the weatherman is forecasting exceptionally cold temperatures, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Think of rivers verses lakes - moving water prevents pipes from freezing, it just needs to be a trickle. 

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. Even heated garages, when the door is left open, can freeze. 

Make sure all exterior faucets are off and drained of water. One of the most common pipes to freeze is the one just inside the wall of a home that feeds the outside water faucet. Every spring Daniel replaces lots of these because they were not properly drained over the winter and have broken due to the frozen water expanding inside the pipe. 

Stay tuned for what to do if you discover or suspect your water pipes have frozen. 

Other Tips From The Plumber

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