Winter brings extremely cold temperatures to the Cincinnati area, and this creates the risk of frozen pipes. When water freezes inside a plumbing pipe, it expands and blocks the line. Pressure gradually builds up between the blockage and the closed faucet at the end of the line, and when this pressure becomes too great, the pipe can rupture. Learning how to avoid frozen pipes before winter arrives can help you prevent unnecessary and costly damage to your home and its contents.
Pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing and bursting are outdoor hose spigots, swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines, and indoor pipes located on exterior walls or routed through unheated basements, garages or attics.
Preventative Steps to Take Before Cold Weather Arrives
- Winterize outdoor hose bibs. Shut off the indoor valve first, then open the outdoor spigot and drain the line. Leave the faucet open so pressure can’t build up, and cover the hose bib with an inexpensive foam insulator available at most hardware stores.
- Protect water lines in unheated areas. Identify any water pipes susceptible to freezing, such as those in the attic, unheated garage, basement, exterior walls or in bathroom or kitchen cabinets. If they’re accessible, install pipe sleeve insulation or heat tape on both the cold and hot water lines.
- Drain sprinkler and swimming pool supply lines. Follow the installer or manufacturer’s directions for draining these water lines to keep them safe from freezing.
When the weatherman predicts a cold snap, take these proactive steps to avert frozen pipes:
- Open faucets that serve vulnerable lines just slightly so water keeps trickling out.
- Don’t lower the thermostat setting at night. You might pay slightly higher utility bills, but you may avert damage to your home and an expensive plumbing repair.
- Open lower bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors so warm air can circulate around the water pipes inside.
- Close the garage doors if there are water pipes inside that may freeze.
To learn more about how to avoid frozen pipes in your greater Cincinnati area home, contact us today at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
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