Snow storms and freezing temperatures mean it’s time to take stock of your plumbing pipes, if you haven’t already. Some of your plumbing may well be vulnerable to freezing and possible pipe bursts. Here’s some helpful information on what to do before temperatures plunge again.
What Causes Pipe Bursts?
When water freezes, it expands, and when that happens inside your pipes, be they metal or plastic, they may burst. When the temperature warms up and the pipes thaw, flooding can result.
Pipes located in exterior walls, swimming pool pipes and pipes carrying water to sprinkler systems may all be at risk. Water supply pipes in unheated crawl spaces, basements, attics, kitchen cabinets and garages are also vulnerable to freezing.
How to Keep Pipes From Freezing
Follow these steps to keep pipes from freezing.
- Remove and drain outdoor hoses, storing them indoors. Close the water supply valves for outdoor hose bibs. Open the bibs to drain water. Keep the valve open so any remaining water can expand without breaking the pipes.
- Insulate pipes in unheated areas such as attics, cabinets, basements and crawl spaces.
- For exposed pipes, install a pipe sleeve or UL-listed heat cable or heat tape. Wrapping newspaper around the pipes can provide some minimal protection.
- For pipes under a sink built into an exterior-facing wall, open up cabinet doors, allowing heat from the home into the space.
- On very cold nights, allow water to trickle out of a faucet that is connected to exposed pipes.
- Keep garage doors closed if you have supply pipes in this area.
- Don’t turn the furnace down at night when temperatures are expected to be extreme. You don’t want to risk letting the house get so cold the pipes freeze.
- If you plan to travel during the winter, set the thermostat no lower than 13 degrees. Also, have someone check on your home to make sure the HVAC system is running right and no pipes have frozen.
To learn more about pipe bursts, contact Arpi’s Industries. We have served our Calgary customers for more than 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.
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