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Preventing Pipes From Freezing – A Concord Carpenter

Preventing Pipes From Freezing - A Concord Carpenter

Stopping Pipes From Freezing

By Robert Robillard on House Repairs And Transforming, Plumbing

How-To Keep away from Freezing Pipes

This winter is predicted to be a COLD one, and meaning frozen water pipes….. brrrrrrr! Earlier than it will get chilly take a second to guage your water pipes and take the precautions now and save from pricey repairs later. Stopping pipes from freezing must be carried out on the time of development, not after the pipes freeze.

Construct Nicely

A properly thought-out constructing design, ensures that pipe are put in on inside partitions, and inside situation areas.  With older houses, transforming typically provides water and heating strains. Typically these pipes are positioned in weak areas, due to entry points. This text was designed to offer you choices with stopping pipes from freezing.

How Pipes Burst

When a pipe freezes, it won’t often burst on the frozen half, however someplace between the freeze and the tap.  Ice blockage in a water pipe creates excessive pressures contained in the pipe. Keep in mind the pipe is totally full of water, the ice creates enlargement strain contained in the pipe which causes the water strain to extend downstream, which might be hundreds of kilos of further strain, and this will result in a burst within the pipe. Upstream from the freeze the water strain doesn’t construct up as a result of it will probably retreat again in the direction of its supply.

An excellent pipe burst may cause gallons of water to run behind partitions and ceilings inflicting hundreds of dollars of injury to your home and private gadgets.



Pricey Injury

Water has a singular property in that it expands because it freezes. This enlargement places large strain on no matter is containing it, together with metallic or plastic pipes. Regardless of the “power” of a container, increasing water may cause pipes to interrupt.

Pipes that a most prone to freezing are:

  • Water and heating pipes operating alongside outdoors partitions
  • Pipes that run close to basement partitions or home windows which have little or no insulation
  • Outside hose bibs
  • Swimming pool provide strains
  • Water sprinkler strains
  • Water provide pipes in unheated inside areas like basements and crawl areas, attics, garages, or kitchen cupboards
  • Pipes in an unheated home or construction




Set up Anti-Freeze Exterior Taps:

These outside taps have an extended stem that extends via the home wall and controls a valve inside the home, away from the chilly exterior wall.  Water doesn’t stand within the portion of the pipe or faucet outdoors the wall the place it might freeze. These taps don’t want a shut off valve, however putting in one is all the time a safer selection, and simply achieved when putting in a brand new faucet.

Tip: Flip off these shut offs in excessive chilly spells, and insulate the rim joist, which is the outside wall / flooring framing situated immediately above the inspiration wall.  [The rim joist is the board that the pipe, pictured above, is running through]

air leak sealing

Seal All Air Drafts And Leaks In The Basement:

A small pinhole air leak may cause frigid air to freeze an unprotected water pipe. Seal all penetration holes created from the set up of cable wires, telephone wires, pipes, window leaks, framing leaks, and so on. I recommend utilizing increasing foam to seal the hole between your basis partitions and home siding in addition to round all penetrations. Doing this and insulating your rim joist [mentioned below] are two cheap steps, with a big “pipe freeze prevention” returns.


Insulate The Exterior “Rim Joists” In Your Basement:

Regardless of the place you put in it, insulation is a clever funding and may definitely make a distinction in stopping pipes from freezing. The rim joist is the outer most part of your basement and is usually not insulated. Insulating right here helps forestall frozen pipes in addition to the general power effectivity of your house. Whereas your doing this make sure that all basement home windows shut tightly, latch tight and the glass is unbroken. Restore or substitute any window that doesn’t.

Preventing Pipes From Freezing

Insulate your pipes:

Including pipe insulation to your pipes could also be as routine as A-B-C, however most owners don’t perceive the way it works. Pipes don’t burst as a result of ice blockages radially increase and crack the sidewall. Fairly, because the blockage grows, it pressures the water downstream. To stop frozen pipes, wrap strains in warmth tape, [see below] and high quality pipe insulation. Concentrate on scorching water pipes and u-bend connections. Pay particular consideration to the pipes closest to the outside partitions, crawl areas or unheated areas. Learn: 7 Ideas for Winterizing you Residence

Hold your warmth to a minimal of 55 levels:

Through the use of the presets correctly I can make sure that the warmth will NEVER dip under a predetermined preset. The most important take away right here is to NEVER lover your warmth under 55 levels, or shut off your warmth within the winter. Programmable thermostats assist you to scale back heating or cooling consumption.

I just like the programmable perform as a result of it permits me to program in automated “resets” to the temperature, for instance:

  • 5:45 AM  Temperature set for 68 levels
  • eight:30 AM  Temperature set for 62 levels
  • 6:30 PM Temperature set for 68 levels
  • 1130 PM Temperature set for 62 levels
  • 5:45 AM again to 68 levels once more . . .


Supply: StateFarm

Depart kitchen and toilet sink cupboard doorways [on exterior walls] open:

Throughout freezing temperatures, for sinks towards outdoors partitions, depart the cupboard doorways open. This enables hotter room air to flow into round pipes. Doing this, along side, setting the tap to drip, will forestall freezing.


Dripping Faucet:

This one is “Previous Faculty.” I keep in mind as a child once we skilled excessive chilly snaps my mom would open the kitchen sink cupboard doorways to show warmth to the pipes and she or he would additionally depart our taps dripping to stop the pipes from freezing.

I all the time thought that leaving the water dripping prevented the pipes from freezing?   That’s not precisely right. It’s not the small move of water that forestalls freezing; it helps, however water can freeze even with a small move. A dripping faucet relieves strain construct up within the water pipes to stop them from bursting because of ice buildup. The dripping faucet move may help sluggish, or forestall freezing. If the dripping stops, proceed to go away the tap open, to alleviate strain when the pipe thaws.

Think about rerouting and insulating weak water pipes:

Pipes subsequent to basement home windows, in non-insulated partitions, or alongside basement rim joists may be relocated.  Relocating these pipes additional into the home, or put in in a heat inside wall will higher shield them from freezing. That is greatest carried out when developing the home or transforming however may also be completed afterward as a preventative measure.



Preventing Pipes From Freezing

Set up warmth tapes on weak pipes:

Warmth cables are particularly designed to make use of on plastic or metallic pipes vulnerable to freezing. they need to solely be put in on pipes which are within the open, and in accessible areas.  Pipes situated inside unheated buildings, cellular houses, non-conditioned residential basements, attics, or out-buildings topic to freezing temperatures, are candidates for warmth tape. Warmth tapes shouldn’t be designed to be buried inside wall, ceiling, or flooring cavities. Warmth tapes, used together with pipe insulation, is a reasonable answer for frozen pipes.

Preventing Pipes From Freezing

Some weak pipes are:

  • Water Strains
  • Pipes in unheated areas, crawl areas
  • Plumbing strains
  • Discharge Pipes
  • Uncovered P-traps
  • Sprinkler strains
  • Tanks, Valves

An insulated pipe can stand up to chilly temperatures longer than an non-insulated pipe. Self-regulating freeze safety cables, are designed to work,  together with pipe insulation. This consists of insulating all valves, tees, and spigots. Learn my article on Putting in Pipe Freeze Safety Heating Cable


Add Warmth To Drawback Areas:

Including warmth to unheated areas susceptible to freezing can remedy a whole lot of freeze points. Many occasions rest room water strains, situated above an unheated storage area, will freeze. Including warmth to the storage area, insulating and climate stripping the doorways can resolve this problem.

Crawl areas are troublesome locations to work and much more troublesome to seal off correctly. They’re troublesome areas for water and warmth strains to stay in.  One of the simplest ways to cope with chilly air in a crawl area is to encapsulate it, and add heating and summer time cooling to the area.  Learn extra about crawl areas in my article on Venting and Insulating a Crawlspace.


Photograph: Alivecampus,com

Leaving For Trip:

In case your going away on trip dont decrease your warmth too low and have somebody verify the home whereas your gone. Depart the warmth on to 55 levels, shut of the water fundamental and contemplate draining the system by opening all of the taps [hot and cold] in the home.

Winterizing A Residence: Water Techniques

Closing a summer time trip residence for the winter, or leaving your own residence throughout winter for an prolonged interval, means taking a collection of steps to guard your funding.

Right here’s some ideas:

  • Shut off water techniques by turning off the pump or closing the valve if on metropolis water. Drain the strain tank.
  • Depart all taps open.
  • Open a union near the valve, so water will drain out all the best way again to the shut-off valve.
  • Drain pump and run a second or two, make sure all water is out of strains from the pump.
  • Flush bogs and dip all water out of the flush tank.
  • Remember to drain versatile spray hoses in showers and sinks.
  • Drain water softeners so water will drain again from mushy water pipes and controls. Brine tank will in all probability not freeze.
  • Drain water heaters.

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