Prepare Your Pipes for Winter Temperatures with Tips from Roto-Rooter

Prepare Your Pipes for Winter Temperatures with Tips from Roto-Rooter

Every winter the average temperatures in Toronto drop below zero. While they normally are not low enough for a hard freeze, even a slight freeze can put your pipes are risk of freezing and breaking. Roto-Rooter has helped many individuals repair cracked or split pipes in the winter. However, there are many things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing. There are also several things you can do once you get a pipe that begins to freeze to prevent extensive damage.

Keep Pipes from Freezing

The following seven tips can help prevent frozen pipes all winter long:

  • Keep the temperature in your home near 12 degrees at all times. If you are going to be gone for a few weeks, set the thermostat to maintain a minimum temperature.
  • Open cabinet doors that encase pipes underneath a sink that is alongside an outside wall. The air inside a cabinet doesn't get very warm. When the doors are open, warm air from the house can warm up the air in the cabinet and keep the pipes warm.
  • Let water drip in faucets that are on an outside wall. The flowing water in the pipes will help prevent the pipes from freezing.
  • Insulate pipes with foam insulation. You can buy special pipe insulation at a hardware store. The insulation is shaped like a water noodle. Once it is wrapped around the pipes, it keeps the cold air from whisking away heat.
  • Insulate pipes with heat tape. The tape has an electrical wire that will heat the pipe to a constant temperature.
  • Disconnect outside hoses. Garden hoses that are attached to a house faucet can freeze back into the house and break a pipe.
  • Disconnect appliance hoses in unheated areas. Some homes have a washing machine in an unheated garage. Disconnect these pipes to protect them from freezing.

Take Care of Pipes That Have Frozen

If you notice that the water is starting to run slowly or drain slowly, you might have pipes that are starting to freeze. If you attend to the pipes early enough, you might be able to prevent a hard freeze that will give you a broken pipe. The following are suggestions of things to do if you have a frozen pipe:

  • Turn off the water to the house.
  • Use an electric heater or a hair dryer to thaw the ice.
  • Avoid using fire or any type of open flame to heat a pipe.
  • If the hair dryer doesn't work, call a professional plumber who is equipped with special equipment for thawing pipes.
  • Inspect all pipes for leaks or splits and get them repaired as soon as possible.
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