Because wintertime temperatures below freezing aren’t uncommon in the Greater Cleveland area, pipe bursts are a very real threat. By taking just a few simple steps to protect your pipes, you can make sure this messy situation doesn’t happen to you.
Bundle Up Your Pipes
Shut off the water supply to your outdoor hose bibs and drain the water from the pipes. Remove and drain your garden hoses. If these freeze while attached to a hose bib, they can cause an indoor pipe to freeze.
Look for uninsulated pipes in your basement, crawl space, and garage, and in the cabinets of your kitchen and bathroom. Insulate any you find with foam pipe insulation or a layer of fiberglass batt insulation between R-3 and R-7. If you’re expecting a cold snap and don’t have time to buy insulation, wrap your pipes in newspaper or rags to provide some protection from the cold.
Prepare Your Home
Leave your thermostat set to 55 degrees or higher at all times, even when you’re away from home. Aim to keep your indoor temperatures within the 68- to 60-degree range. If your home lacks insulation, adding insulation to your attic floor and insulating your basement rim joints will protect the pipes in these areas as well as reduce your energy bills.
When you’re expecting severe cold, open your faucets just enough to allow a slow drip. Water moving through the pipes help prevent the pipes from freezing. Open the doors to cabinets that house pipes to allow warm air from the room to reach them.
If your pipes do freeze, you may still be able to prevent pipe bursts by correctly thawing the pipe. Turn on the affected faucet, then apply a gentle heat source such as a heating pad or hairdryer set to low heat. Thaw the pipe slowly, monitor it closely, and be ready to shut off the water in case the pipe begins to leak.
For more guidance on preventing pipe bursts, get in touch with us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing in the Greater Cleveland area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about pipe bursts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.
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