Prevent Frozen Pipes
How pipes freeze
Water expands when it freezes. As it does, it puts pressure on whatever contains it, including the metal or plastic (PVC) pipes in your home. The pressure can rupture the pipes and cause serious damage to your home, especially if the water leaks for a few hours.
What you can do
Insulate your pipes
- Insulate both hot AND cold water pipes in unheated or uninsulated (or poorly insulated) areas. Both hot and cold water pipes can freeze in cold weather.
When severe cold weather hits
- Push up the thermostat a few degrees above the normal nighttime setting so that the temperature inside exterior walls remains above freezing.
- If your sink, dishwasher or washing machine is located on an exterior wall, leave the cabinet doors and dishwasher open, especially at night, so the pipes are exposed to warmer air. Of course, make sure you keep toxic cleaners or chemicals in a safe place away from young children.
- Let the cold water drip slowly from faucets to reduce the pressure build-up in the pipes.
- Keep garage doors closed if you have water supply pipes inside.
- Watch your local weather forecasts and keep track of severe cold and wind chill.