It’s a known fact that when water freezes it expands. Unlike ice cubes in your freezer, ice formation in your plumbing can be a potential hazard. If a frozen pipe cracks, it can throw in gallons of water inside your home. Consider the following steps to prevent a disaster:
Turn Off Outdoor Faucets
In order to drain any water out of the pipe, open the faucet, followed by opening the bleeder cap on the shutoff valve. Keep the bleeder cap open and place a bucket below to collect any water drops. If you notice continuous water dripping, your shutoff valve might need fixing or a replacement. Draining the pipe is important, as it can freeze and crack up.
Invest In A Frost-free Sillcock
Faucets are not as effective as frost-free sillcock in draining pipes. The working parts of this system, including valve, seat, and washer are positioned up to 18 inches inside the wall and not right at the faucet. If installed correctly with a minor sliding pitch, you can easily drain water from the pipe by simply turning off the knob at the faucet.
Make sure you disconnect all hoses from their faucets, as water-filled hoses kept out in the cold will freeze. If the hose is left connected to the faucet, ice can recede the pipe inside your house, causing the pipe to freeze and crack. Detach, drain and store the hoses for when winter arrives.
Add Heat Cables
This is an ideal solution for weak or exposed pipes. Hose cables come integrated with thermostats that automatically detect the temperature of the pipe. To prevent the pipe from freezing, the cables turn the heat on or off as required.
Traveling? Shut Off The Water
If you’re going out of town for a few days, shut off the water at the main shutoff, so that even if frozen pipes crack, you don’t have to deal with serious damages. Switch of your automatic icemaker, as the ice accumulated in the bin, will eventually evaporate and the icemaker will continually try to make ice, causing the motor to burn out.
Consider Pipe Insulation
Have pipes in unheated areas of your house? It could be your garage, attic or crawl space. Use heat cables and cover them with pipe insulation. You can also insulate pipes without the use of heat cables. You can find various types of pipe insulation online for as little as $2 to $6.