4 Tips to Beat Frozen Pipes

4 Tips to Beat Frozen Pipes4 Tips to Beat Frozen Pipes

Cold bites. And, nothing bites worse than frozen pipes. So, if you’re sick of trying to torch your pipes to get them flowing, I’ve got some ideas for you.

The first time frozen pipes hit me was when I was young and dumb. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to be dumb, but sometimes stupid happens.

My wife and I were in our first home in the Salt Lake area and we left during the Christmas break to visit her family in the Midwest. We were gone for a little over a week. As luck would have it, Salt Lake hit a cold snap while we were gone, and as dumb would have it, I wasn’t prepared.

When we got home, I found the sure sign of disaster…peeling paint and water stained sheetrock. In other words – a burst pipe. After a few choice words about my own mental incapacity, I plowed right in to fixing it. I hated every minute of it.

So, here are my 4 tips to beat frozen pipes:

  1. Regular Use
  2. Let the Water Run
  3. Insulate
  4. Pipe Heater
  5. Regular Use

Running water has a harder time freezing than stationary water. (I know, that’s a real shocker, hugh?) However, flowing water can still freeze if the temperature drops too low—just like with a flowing river. Regular use will also tell you when an ice block is forming, because water flow will be restricted or cut off.

  1. Let the Water Run

If you’re vacationing and are smarter than I am, you should be concerned about pipes at home freezing. You can simply leave one or two faucets on to a slow drip. You’ll pay more for your water bill, but unlike me, you’ll save a lot more on the repair bill. Pipes freeze because the pressure between the freezing water and the faucet grows too great. A slow drip solves the problem by relieving the pressure. Thus, even if a pipe freezes, the ice will have room to expand and won’t break the pipe.

  1. Insulate

Most homes in the colder regions are designed so that water pipes are kept inside the insulation of the home to keep them from freezing. But, if your home has poor insulation like mine, you may add a layer of insulation just for the pipe. Local hardware stores carry this kind of insulation and they are easy to install. These strips typically come in long sections that can be cut to fit the pipes. Older homes that already have insulated pipes can be updated with newer, more effective insulation.

  1. Pipe Heater

Pipe warmers wrap around a pipe and use electricity.. so the water is never cold enough to freeze. Pipe warmers are excellent for keeping exposed pipes from freezing in areas that are very cold for long periods of time. In extreme cold temperatures where other preventative measures fail, a pipe warmer will ensure the water never freezes. Pipe warmers are also ideal for industrial situations where large volumes of mission-critical liquid are at risk of freezing. The initial investment of purchasing a pipe warmer is miniscule compared to the savings and efficiency that comes from keeping an operation running in all weather conditions.

Question: How do you keep your pipes from freezing? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Leave a Comment

Comment (required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Name (required)
Email (required)