Tips For Winterizing Your Pipes
There's no doubt about it, the cold weather is already on its way. Here, in southern Arizona, we've had freeze warnings and even a couple of frosty mornings already. We live in a deceptive area. It can get surprisingly cold here and some people might not be prepared for that in the winter. What could be worse than getting up on a cold morning and realizing that you have no running water or that you have had a pipe burst in the night and there is water everywhere but where you need it?
We, here at Mr. Fix It of Sierra Vista, have included a few helpful tips to winterize your pipes and save yourself the headache of calling for emergency plumbing services.
Insulate pipes with inexpensive insulation sleeves from Home Depot, Lowes, ACE, or any other hardware store. You can use wrap or slip-on foam pipe insulation. (In a pinch, pool noodles work just fine!)
Keep your home heated to a minimum of 55 degrees. This heat will keep you and your pipes from freezing.
Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate.
Make sure that any cracks, holes, or other entryways for air to get into your house and/or crawlspace are sealed up. Cold air can sneak in if the area is not properly sealed and freeze your pipes.
Allow your faucets to remain open and drip. If there is a consistent flow of moving water through the pipes, it discourages freezing.
Check your hose bibs. Hose bibs are often forgotten, causing them to burst in the middle of the night. Drain all water from the hose bibs and insulate them with covers. (Sorry, pool noodles. Summer is over.)
Before traveling, keep the temperature in your home above freezing and turn off all the water to your house.
What should you do if your pipes have already frozen but have not burst? The answer is a simple process that you can do yourself!
Turn on your faucets. Little to no water will come out at this point but it is important to have them open to relieve any pressure between the ice blockage and water.
Use a hair dryer or space heater to apply heat. If using a hair dryer start closest to the faucet and then move slowly to the coldest section. Continue applying heat until full water pressure is restored. Do not use a propane torch as this can damage the pipe and present a fire risk.
Check all faucets and winterize pipes to prevent re-freezing. Once your have thawed your pipes, make sure to use the above tips to keep your pipes from freezing again.
Stay safe and keep warm this winter!