Keeping Your Pipes Warm In The Winter

Posted on: 14 January 2015

Burst pipes are a serious concern in the winter time, as they can cause serious flood damage that can be difficult to repair. The easiest way to avoid burst pipes is to keep your pipes nice and warm all winter. Follow this simple process to keep your pipes safe and free from freezing and bursting.

1. Check Out Your Pipe Schematics

Start by finding your plumbing schematic and inspecting it for spots where bursting might be possible. Look especially for pipes in lower areas of the home: these are more susceptible to freezing than higher pipes.

If you don't have a pipe schematic for your home, simply go into the basement and look for any pipes in the open air. These pipes are more likely to burst, as they won't be tucked behind warm walls. Make sure to check for pipes under all your home's sinks.

Write these pipes locations and sizes down on a pad of paper before moving on to the next step.

2. Find Exposed Pipes

Exposed pipes are those which are located outside and which are constantly exposed to the elements. Their exposed nature makes them more likely to burst. Sprinkler pipes and metering well pipes are your most common exposed pipes.

Search your whole yard for these pipes and write their locations down on your pipe list. Now, you can start preparing your pipes for cold weather conditions.

3. Add a Heating Cable to Your Pipes

Long before winter hits, you should install a length of heat cable to your pipes. Simply attach it with clamps along the full length of your pipes and, once cold weather hits, turn it on to prevent freezing.

Turn off your heat cable when the temperatures are above freezing. After all, you'll just be wasting electricity warming a pipe in no danger of freezing or bursting.

4. Run a Stream of Water During Extreme Cold

A stretch of severely frigid temperatures can put even the best prepared pipes in danger of freezing. If you notice water flowing poorly from one of your water sources, make sure to run a cold water drip to thaw the pipe.

In fact, you may want to pre-emptively avoid frozen pipes by running a light drip during stretches of freezing temperatures. You can turn your water off when the temperature rises above freezing again.

There is more than one way to keep your pipes warm: this is simply the best method. However, if this process somehow doesn't work and frigid cold gets the better of your pipes, call a top-notch plumber, from a company like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating, as soon as possible to get your pipes back in working order.