Protecting Your Home’s Plumbing from Freezing Temperatures
Tips from Master Plumber Louis Natale of Proven Plumbing
Winter has arrived in Austin, and with the cold temperatures, your pipes are at risk! Water expands when it freezes, similar to how a forgotten soda can bursts in the freezer, creating a mess—your pipes can burst in the same way. If that happens, immediately shut off your home's water supply to prevent severe damage. It’s crucial to be proactive. Below is a concise guide to safeguard your home:
Identify the Vulnerable Areas
Outdoor Hose Bibs: Pay special attention to those located outside garages, cabinets, or closets. The cold interiors can lead to a higher risk of the pipes within these walls freezing.
Beneath Sinks: Cabinets can act as barriers that block the warmth of your home from reaching the pipes, making them colder and more susceptible to freezing. Pipes on external walls are particularly vulnerable, so it's advisable to keep cabinet and closet doors open in these areas.
Pipes in Attics or Crawl Spaces: To prevent pipes from freezing, maintain a steady drip from both the hot and cold faucets throughout your home. This keeps water moving through the pipes. An exception is the water source in the laundry room—always keep the laundry room door open to ensure warmth.
Quick Tips for Prevention:
Drip Your Faucets: For mild freezes, a slow drip is sufficient. However, if temperatures plummet below 25°F, switch to a steady stream.
Insulate: Insulation is effective at retaining heat, so it will help if the hose is on a heated wall of the house. If the wall isn’t adjacent to a heat source from the house, insulation won’t be as effective.
Outdoor Precautions: Disconnect garden hoses. Allow a drip from any outdoor faucets with cut-off valves and use faucet covers for added insulation.
Traveling? Inform a trusted neighbor and show them how to shut off the water to the house, or instruct them to call the city in case of a problem.
The key to avoiding damage is preparation. Simple steps can prevent significant trouble and expenses. Stay warm and keep your pipes clear!
If you’re uncertain about your home’s risk for frozen pipes, we’re here to assist. Contact us, and we can offer personalized advice and solutions tailored to your home’s specific layout and construction.