Frozen pipes can pose a serious risk to your home once the outdoor temperature drops below freezing. Water expands when it freezes, and the pressure this puts on a plumbing pipe can rupture the faucet end of a line. When the weather warms up and the pipe thaws, gallons of water will start spewing out through the rupture. If this happens, you’ll have a plumbing emergency to deal with, plus a messy cleanup and costly home repairs. You can avoid these headaches by taking some preventive measures before winter settles in.
Plan Ahead to Prevent Frozen Pipes
There are steps you can take to protect vulnerable pipes, such as those inside exterior walls, in unfinished areas like the attic, basement or garage, and those located outdoors.
- Identify at-risk areas. Check for plumbing pipes in unheated areas of your home and cover them with tubular foam pipe insulation. Fit it over the water lines under your bathroom and kitchen sinks. If there are accessible water pipes in your exterior walls, install heat cable then insulate.
- Weatherize outdoor water pipes. To keep the hose bib from freezing, close the indoor shutoff valve then drain the line by opening the outdoor spigot. Leave the spigot open so pressure doesn’t build up, and cover the hose bib with a foam insulator for an extra layer of protection. If you have a sprinkler system or swimming pool, follow your manufacturer’s instructions to drain the water supply lines.
Take Extra Precautions During Cold Snaps
There’s a greater chance of pipes freezing when it’s extremely cold outside, so you should take extra precautions when a cold snap is predicted.
- Open the faucets slightly on your at-risk lines to maintain a slow drip.
- Don’t dial back the thermostat temperature setting at night.
- Open the doors on the bathroom and kitchen sink cabinets so warmer air can circulate around the pipes inside.
- If there are water lines running through your garage, make sure the door is kept closed.
To learn more ways to guard against frozen pipes in your Calgary home this winter, contact us at Arpi’s Industries.
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 preventing frozen pipes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.
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