Frozen pipes: tips on how to avoid them and what to do when they freeze
It’s cold outside and it’s cold again and frozen water pipes can become a problem.
American water from Pennsylvania has advice offered in the past on how to keep your pipes from freezing and what to do if they freeze.
When the temperature is at or below the freezing point, the company advises to proceed as follows:
- Keep the thermostat set at the same temperature day and night.
- If you have pipes that are vulnerable to freezing, run a small trickle of water overnight to keep the pipes from freezing. The company claims that the cost of additional water is small compared to the cost of repairing a broken pipe.
- Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer ambient temperatures to prevent them from freezing.
- If you are away, have a friend, relative or neighbor check your property regularly to make sure the heating is working and the pipes have not frozen.
- Additionally, the company said a freeze alarm can be purchased for under $ 100 and will call a user-selected phone number if the interior temperature drops below 45 degrees.
- Know which areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms, and exterior walls, are most vulnerable to freezing.
- Eliminate sources of cold air near water pipes by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
- Know the location of your main water shutoff valve. If a hose freezes or bursts, turn off the water immediately.
- Protect your pipes and your water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or use electrical tracing wire; newspaper or fabric can also work. For outdoor meters, keep the meter pit cover securely closed and allow falling snow to cover it. Snow acts as an insulator, so don’t disturb it.
The coldest breath of winter yet has arrived ❄️🌡️ When it is very cold outside, allow cold water to drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes to keep them from freezing. It also helps keep your thermostat set at the same temperature day and night. pic.twitter.com/XjJlcsOB6D
– American Water of Pennsylvania (@paamwater) January 29, 2021
So what do you do if your pipe freezes? Pennsylvania American Water advises the following:
- The Pennsylvania American Water Company advises that the first thing to do is turn off the water immediately. Do not attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is turned off. Freezing can often cause invisible cracks in pipes or joints.
- Apply heat to the frozen pipe by heating the air around it or by applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, heater or hot water. Be sure not to leave heaters unattended and avoid using kerosene heaters or open flames.
- After the pipes have thawed, slowly turn the water back on and check for cracks and leaks.