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How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Pipe that broke after freezing.

Water expands as it freezes, and for homeowners in the Salt Lake City area, this can mean disaster. When water freezes and expands in residential plumbing systems, it can cause pipes to burst, resulting in significant damage and high repair bills. When your pipes freeze, even if they don’t burst, you’re immediately cut off from the water you need for drinking, cooking, showering, doing laundry and more. If they burst, you could be without water even longer, and a burst pipe could cause significant damage to your home and possessions.

While our plumbers in Salt Lake City can’t tell you how to keep the temperatures outside from falling, we can give you some helpful advice on how to avoid frozen pipes. Check out these tips to keep your pipes from freezing this winter!

How To Keep Your Pipes from Freezing

  1. Invest in insulation. A bit of planning can save you a lot of hassle. Before the temperatures are expected to drop, invest in some foam pipe insulation to wrap around your pipes. It’s available at any hardware store, costs only a few dollars and is easy to install.If possible, consider adding additional insulation in basements, attics and crawl spaces that plumbing lines run through. These unheated areas can get frigid during the winter, but a bit of extra insulation could do the trick to keep them warm enough to keep your pipes from freezing.
    1. If you aren’t using insulation, heat tape is an effective alternative. If you’re going this route, be sure to follow the instructions carefully, any only use heat cables that have earned the UL seal of approval.
  2. Seal off entry points. Look for spots where cold air may be able to enter your home, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. If you locate any gaps or cracks, fill them using expanding spray foam, caulk or loose insulation.
  3. Open up your cabinets. When it’s cold, open the cabinets below your kitchen and bathroom sinks. This allows warm air from your home to circulate around your water lines, making them less prone to freezing. Remember to remove any household cleaners and other harmful chemicals stored under the sink if you have children or pets.
  4. Leave water running. Moving water is less susceptible to freezing, so leaving your faucets trickling can prevent pipes from freezing. There’s no need to use hot water, so use cold to save on your gas or electric bill and to avoid not having warm water for your morning shower.
  5. Keep your house warm. It may be tempting to turn off the heat if you’re going to be away for a few days (or longer), but doing so is a recipe for disaster. Keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees to ensure that your home stays warm enough to keep your pipes from freezing.
  6. Don’t forget your hot water lines. It’s a common misconception that only cold water lines freeze. This belief leads many homeowners to forget about insulating their hot water lines. When you’re insulating, remember to take care of your hot water lines in addition to your cold lines.

What to Do if Your Pipes Do Freeze

If your pipes do freeze this winter, or you need help finding ways to prevent frozen and burst pipes, give Neerings Plumbing & Heating a call. Our plumbers in Salt Lake City are available 24 hours a day for emergency plumbing service, and you can count on our technicians to provide the high-quality service you need at a price you can afford. Call today!