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How To Keep Pipes From Freezing

Published by 911 Restoration Washington DC on October 12, 2022 in category: Water Damage Restoration

Water pipes can freeze if the temperature drops below 32 degrees F. It is as important to be as warm inside as it is outside. Here are some tips to prevent pipes freezing in cold temperatures. We also discuss how cold your house must be for pipes to freeze.

 

How Cold Does It Have To Be For Pipes To Freeze?

Water freezes at 32 degrees F. However, water must be at least 20 degrees F before pipes freeze. Windchill can also play a role, as it can cause temperatures to drop suddenly by ten or twenty degree. This happens most often along exterior walls and if there are cracks or holes in your foundation. You can’t control the temperature outside so you should focus on the temperature inside your home.

Which Pipes Are Most Likely To Freeze?

If it gets cold enough, any pipe can freeze, which can possible lead to water damage. The location of pipes can make them more vulnerable to freezing. These are the pipes most likely to freeze.

  • Pipes located near exterior walls
  • Uninsulated pipes
  • Pipes that are not heated in garages, crawl spaces or attics
  • Heat that is not well circulated, such as under kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
  • Outdoor spigots, hose bibbs
  • Irrigation lines and water sprinklers
  • Swimming pool lines

 

What Is The Minimum Temperature To Keep Pipes From Freezing?

It is recommended that pipes are kept from freezing below 55°F. However, it is safer to have them stay between 60°F and 68°F. The air around pipes will be warm enough to prevent them freezing. You should keep your pipes above 68 degrees if you live in warmer climates. Your pipes are not insulated from the freezing cold.

How To Keep Pipes From Freezing

Winterizing your home is the best way to prevent pipes from freezing.

Insulate Your pipes
Wrapping your pipes in foam insulation is the best way to prevent them from freezing. Wrap any water pipes visible, including those in basements and garages. This can be purchased in rolls or pre-cut sections from most home improvement shops for approximately 50C per foot. Whole-house insulation is recommended if you can’t see the pipes. This will not only keep the cold air out of your home in winter but also keep it cooler in summer.

Turn Off Sprinklers And Spigots
You should turn off the water spigot at your exterior home and drain it. You will find a shutoff valve for most spigots in your basement.
Turn on the spigot and drain the pipe once the water has been turned off. To block cold air, you can also install a foam insulation covering over the faucet. If you have an inground sprinkler system, do the same. Turn off the water supply and run the sprinklers until it stops. Remember to turn off any timers that you have set up for your system.

Keep Garage Doors Closed And Heat The Area
Garage doors can also be kept closed to prevent pipes freezing. This is particularly important at night, when temperatures are the lowest. Insulation should be added to the garage door to keep it warmer. You should heat your garage if it is very cold. Avoid propane burners as they can produce toxic gases that could suffocate. Electric heaters are safer. To prevent them freezing, point the heater at walls that have water pipes.

Cabinets With Open Under-Sink
Pipes can also freeze in cabinets below sinks, especially if they are attached to an exterior wall. Cabinet doors can block heat and cold air from entering heated rooms. The cabinet doors can be opened to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes and prevent them from freezing. It’s important to open your cabinets when it is extremely cold. However, it’s particularly important at night when it is the coldest.
You should also use a space heater if it is colder than 0 degrees F. The cabinet should be kept at least four to five feet from the heater.

Keep Your Faucets Plugged!
You can also keep your pipes from freezing by allowing the faucets to run. A slow trickle can prevent pipes from freezing.
You can run your faucets at any time. However, it is best to do so when the temperature outside is below 0 degrees F. Hot water pipes can freeze just as easily as cold water lines. Make sure you open both handles if your faucet has more than one handle. Set single-handle faucets to the middle so that hot and cold water flow through.

Make A Plan Before You Go On Vacation
You should prepare for cold weather if you’re going on vacation. Set your thermostat to between 64 and 68 degrees F before you leave. Also, open the under-sink cabinets. Ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to inspect your home. To prevent your pipes freezing, have them come through your house at least once per day.

Get A Free Visual Inspection On Burst Pipe Repair

Water damage after a burst pipe? Call 911 Restoration of Washington DC at 202-350-2244 now for a free visual inspection on water damage cleanup and repair.

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