The unpredictable winter is already upon us and one of the biggest fears of any homeowner is frozen pipes. If a water pipe were to freeze, the expansion could cause the pipe to rupture, which is definitely not something you want to experience. So, how does one prevent one’s plumbing from freezing over?
- Use Insulating Material – If you have a short section of pipe that is outside, it will help if you insulate the pipe with either foam rubber or fibreglass that can be purchased at any builder’s merchant. This type of pipe insulation should be used to protect all exterior water pipes wherever possible, and this will significantly reduce the risk of the pipes freezing over. Fortunately, waste pipes do not freeze over, and with blocked drains solutions by 24/7 Drainage Solutions, you can be sure that your drains are relatively clean.
- Keep Cabinet Doors Open – If you have cabinets that conceal the water pipes in both kitchen and bathroom, leaving the cabinet doors open will allow some of the heat in the house to reach the pipes, which should raise the temperature by at least a few degrees and that might be enough to prevent a pipe freeze. With exterior pipes having insulation, the only other areas where freezing might occur are inside the cabinets and when it is very cold, leaving the doors open will have a positive effect. There are a few more tips on how to prevent water pipes from freezing, which is recommended reading for all concerned homeowners.
- Leave Faucets Dripping – Obviously not a good idea generally, but in freezing weather, a dripping tap ensure that water keeps flowing, and even if it is a trickle, it is often enough to prevent a pipe freeze over. If the cold spell is prolonged, run all the taps for a few minutes, which will ensure a large amount of water passes through the system, thus clearing any partial ice overs.
- Leave the Heating On – In sub-zero conditions, it is a good idea to keep the central heating on, even if you are going to be away for a few days, as this will ensure that the interior pipes will remain ice free. Turn the thermostat down if you are not at home, which will help to keep the bills down, and you only need to do this when temperatures are below freezing and you are away from home.
- Seal Up Holes and Cracks – If your water cabinets have holes or cracks, they should be filled prior to winter setting in. Spray foam insulation is the ideal for this and can be sourced at any building supplies company, which will help to keep the temperature in the cabinets above freezing.
You might be concerned that your drain pipes will also freeze over, yet as there is no running water and the drainage pipes are slightly larger in diameter, drainage pipes do not freeze over. You should, however, have the drains professionally cleaned at least once a year, which should ensure that they remain free flowing all year round.