Cold Weather Tips

If it is that time of year when the temperatures start to dip below freezing then we have a few pointers for you.

Freezing Weather Protection 

Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of water supply lines and pipes by: 

  • Letting cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
  • Draining water from swimming pools and water sprinkler supply lines.
  • Removing, draining, and storing the hoses.
  • Closing inside valves supplying outdoor hose spigots. Open outside hose spigots to allow water to drain.
  • Keeping the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipes can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Insulating water pipes by carefully wrapping them with ends butted tightly and joints sealed with tape. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes.
  • Opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • Leaving the heat in your home set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees F, if you’re away during cold weather.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet during freezing weather and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. The following are tips to thaw a frozen pipe:

  • Keep the faucet open. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe. After flow is achieved, allow faucet to drip to prevent refreezing.
  • Apply heat to the section of frozen pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials) or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes.

Future Freeze Protection

  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing. A professional can relocate pipes if the home is remodeled.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces.