How Do You Prevent Pipes From Freezing?


Quick Answer

To prevent frozen water pipes, insulate water pipes in areas exposed to the elements, and seal windows, vents and other openings near the pipes. Inside the home, maintain a constant temperature, and allow the faucets to drip until outdoor temperatures rise above freezing.

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How Do You Prevent Pipes From Freezing?
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Full Answer

At the beginning of winter, drain and store all outdoor sprinklers and hoses, and examine the basement, crawlspaces and other areas around the home for exposed pipes. Exposed pipes in unheated areas should be insulated with pipe insulation or heating tape. Insulate drafty windows, open-air vents and other openings in areas where pipes are located to further prevent freezing.

Inside the home, maintain a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and open cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks to ensure warm air can reach the water pipes in those areas. When temperatures are at or below freezing, allow cold or lukewarm water to drip from all faucets in the home.

Check the water pressure often while temperatures remain below freezing. If a pipe freezes, turn the water faucet to the on position until the pipe thaws. To promote faster thawing of a frozen water pipe, soak towels in hot water, and wrap hot towels around the frozen sections of pipe. If the pipe is damaged, turn the water off at the main supply valve, and contact a plumber for repairs.

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