How to Protect Pipes From Subfreezing Temperatures

You always want to keep water pipes in heated spaces and away from attics or other areas vulnerable to outside walls. Water freezes when heat in the water is transferred to cold air too quickly. Few pipes can withstand some of the weather the U.S. has seen this winter without proper installation. No matter the “strength” of the container or pipe, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

If you are about to build your dream home, make sure you place your water pipes away from the exteriors or near any walls that could experience an extra breeze during the winter. Likewise, keep the furnace location in mind as well. Many are not designed for below zero temperatures. If you think your furnace needs an update, see what you can expect to pay by checking out our furnace repair cost estimator.

Keep Cabinet Doors Open!
While it may be an inconvenience as you walk around your kitchen or bathroom, it is a good idea to keep cabinets open during the winter so the warm air circulating the room can hit the cold pipes. It may not seem like a lot, but any opportunity to provide these pipes with extra warmth should be highly considered. If you don’t want to open all cabinets, make sure to at least open the ones below the kitchen and bathroom sinks as I am sure you will want running water for the most trafficked rooms in the home.

Let Cold Water Drip from the Faucet!
If your pipes are about to freeze or are exposed to very cold weather, the water temperature will dip quite a bit. The colder the water, the better a chance your water pipes could freeze. Therefore, you should let the cold water drip from the faucet. This is especially important if you know your pipes are already frozen. Either way, according to The Weather Channel, even a trickle of water can prevent pipes from freezing. If you are leaving for vacation and want to step up your DIY skills, you should drain the entire system or open the faucet completely to ensure no pipes will burst while you’re gone. If you’re leaving for a lengthy vacation, be sure to contact an HVAC contractor in your area.

Seal Cracks and Holes Around Home!
No matter how modern or traditional your home may be, we all have a few cords, wires and pipes that run through the wall and are exposed to outside temperatures. Many times, utility workers or contractors make extra holes in walls to make sure homeowners have the best possible service throughout the home. If you are worried about dropping temperatures, it is a good idea to go around the home and seal any cracks or holes near water pipes. Make sure you leave enough space for the wire to go through, but feel free to seal any extra space you see. In similar fashion, as we noted in 5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Gas Bill During the Winter, you should caulk all your windows and doors to prevent cold air from entering or warm air from leaving your home.

Always remember to always disconnect your hose from your outside hose bibb / spicket, and keep vents in your crawl space closed during the winter.

If you need help winterizing your home, call Sanders Plumbing today at 865-922-9175 to schedule an appointment!
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