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Preventing pipes from freezing is important, especially during cold weather. Here are some tips to help you avoid frozen pipes:
- Drain Outdoor Faucets & Disconnect Hoses:
- Before winter arrives, disconnect all garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Drain the hoses and store them in a sheltered location. Leaving hoses connected can trap water, leading to frozen pipes and potential damage. After disconnecting hoses, make sure to drain any remaining water from the outdoor faucets by opening them and allowing excess water to escape.
- Insulate Pipes:
- Insulating pipes is a crucial step in preventing them from freezing. Use pipe insulation sleeves or wrapping to cover exposed pipes, particularly those in unheated areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics. The insulation provides a barrier against the cold, helping to maintain a warmer temperature around the pipes and reduce the risk of freezing.
- Keep Heat Running at 65 or Higher:
- Maintaining a constant indoor temperature is essential for preventing pipes from freezing. Set your thermostat to at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re away from home. Consistent heating helps to keep the entire house warm, including areas where pipes may be vulnerable. This is particularly important during extremely cold nights when outdoor temperatures drop significantly.
- Leave Water Dripping:
- Allowing faucets to drip slowly during extremely cold weather can prevent water from sitting still in the pipes and freezing. The continuous movement of water, even at a trickle, helps to relieve pressure and reduce the likelihood of pipes freezing. Focus on faucets connected to pipes along exterior walls or in unheated areas.
- Open Cupboard Doors:
- Opening cabinet doors under sinks exposes the pipes to the warmer air inside your home, promoting better circulation. This is especially important for pipes located along exterior walls. By allowing warm air to reach the pipes, you help prevent them from getting too cold and freezing.
Implementing these measures collectively provides a comprehensive approach to protecting your plumbing system during cold weather. Regular maintenance and proactive steps can significantly reduce the risk of frozen pipes and the potential for costly repairs.