Ask anyone who it has happened to and you’ll discover that frozen pipes are a giant nightmare. In some instances it requires that you re-do your system as the pipes are likely to burst when the water pressure becomes too great. The good news is the preventative measures are simple and doable for anyone. Keep these simple guidelines in mind in order to avoid the hassle and maintain healthy pipes.
The ice that forms when temperatures drop is not actually the culprit for frozen pipes. The air pressure that accumulates due to the expansion of the frozen water is what actually cracks the surface of the pipe. This is why the crack is often far away from the ice. Installing a valve is an easy fix to avoid this problem.
Drafty pipes are more likely to freeze than insulated ones, even if the temperature is the same. If you have areas of your house that contain exposed pipes or large holes near the pipes, these can be covered with expandable foam or insulation.
Leave a drip
In order to avoid the build up of water pressure, you can also leave a small drip of water coming from your faucet. This is useful when leaving the house for an extended period of time and if you have no valve. That tiny drip will allow the pressure to escape and prevent a burst and major damage from happening while you’re away.
Plug the gaps
Inspect the areas around your pipes because often there are holes for access to electric boxes and so forth. These gaps can be filled in and allow for more insulation. Your pipes will thank you, as well as your pocketbook when you can avoid costly fixes!
A fairly new concept, the frost-proof faucet will help prevent air pressure from building up if cold temperatures decrease drastically. It is located on the outside wall of the house but a water-flow valve is located on the inside of the building. They eliminate the need for an inside shutoff valve and allows you to use the outside spigot in freezing temperatures without the fear of freezing your pipes. Adding an inexpensive insulation kit to cover the outside faucet provides an additional layer of protection.
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