Preventing frozen pipes is a lot easier and less costly than having to thaw them out or clean them up after they've burst. A quick audit of your home's plumbing and a few preventative measures can protect your pipes against freezing this winter. Cover all exposed pipes with insulation. You can purchase it at any hardware store or home center. Remember, small water pipes freeze quicker than waste or sewer pipes. Draining unused water pipes is always a good idea.
If you have pipes in an unheated basement, attic, crawlspace, or garage, cover them with a commercial insulation or wrap them with electrical heat tape.
Don't forget your garden hose connections. Disconnect all hoses and store them indoors. Failing to do so will trap water in the faucet or in the hose bib that, when froze, can cause damage.
Never leave your garage door open in cold weather. The cold air can freeze exposed pipes in minutes.
Set your thermostat to 68 degrees, and for the higher on sub-zero days. If you're leaving your house for a few days, set it at a minimum of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and have a neighbor run water through all your taps a few minutes each day. Leave interior doors open – especially on upper floors – so warm air can circulate.
Stay warm and dry this winter, and call us if you need us.
Easy does it on Frozen Pipes
The first thing to remember if your pipes freeze, it's seldom a catastrophe. Unless they're burst, you don't have a problem – just no water. The catastrophe comes when you try to thaw them out to fast. No matter how tempting it seems, don't use a butane torch. We've seen cases where a homeowner started a fire in the surrounding insulation or nearby wood framing. It's also dangerous to apply intense heat to the middle of a pipe when both ends are frozen. A torch can cause the water to flash into steam and explode.
The best method is to take it slow and easy with a hair dryer or heat gun.
If you call the professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing right away if you have frozen pipes, we can utilize our hot shot machine to safely thaw your frozen pipes!