Preparing your home for winter means stowing away lawn furniture and installing window treatments. It may also mean taking steps to avoid frozen water pipes. At Intelligent Service, our Chicago plumbing company has seen many a burst pipe from cold winter nights causing the water inside the pipes to freeze and expand.
If you are worried about a burst pipe during that next big cold snap, or are planning to leave for the season, it might be a good idea to try any of the following tips for avoiding frozen pipes.
Easy Ways to Keep Pipes from Freezing
You can make use of these suggestions without a lot of expense or much extra effort. Plus, they can be implemented without interfering with your ability to use the plumbing!
Let it Drip
If you are only expecting a brief cold snap, such as during a winter storm, you can keep the pipes from freezing by letting water drip from the faucets. Just turn each faucet slightly to allow for a slow drip that keeps water moving through the pipes preventing it from solidifying.
Open the Doors
Many pipes run through cabinets and in utility rooms that get kind of cold. Consider opening up your cabinet doors and the door to the utility room to allow heat from the rest of the house into these spaces.
Insulate the Pipes
You can purchase foam pipe insulation to wrap around all of the exposed pipes that will provide a little extra protection from cold air. These are especially good in areas where there isn’t a lot of heating, such as garages or under cabinets.
Seal Up Cracks
Get some insulation material or expanding foam and fill in all of the cracks around your pipes, windows, and ventilation fans to help keep the cold out. This is also a good way to help make your home more efficient.
Heat the Pipes
You can also purchase heating tape to wrap around exposed pipes that are vulnerable to cold temperatures. This tape works like an electric blanket with an electrical wire running through it that heats up when plugged in.
Leaving the House Empty in Winter
If you are planning on leaving the house empty in the wintertime, it’s better to drain the pipes of as much water as possible before going. After all, no water in the pipes means they won’t freeze.
- Turn off the water main line that supplies water to your house. It’s usually located in the utility room or just outside the house.
- Turn on all of the faucets in the house, starting at the top floor and working your way down. Let the water run out until it stops.
- Flush all of the toilets until they are completely drained of water.
- Run all appliances that are connected to a water line to flush their lines out.
- Flush any remaining water out of the drains using an air compressor.
- Pour a small amount of anti-freeze into all of the drains, toilets, and sinks.
Draining the water from your pipes may be a job that is better completed by skilled plumbers in Chicago. When you are planning to leave for the winter, give Intelligent Service a call to set up a free consultation. Getting professionals on the job can help you avoid the costs of repiping your home later on. You can also fill out our online form to request a free cost estimate right away.