Preparing your home for winter means stowing away lawn
furniture and installing window treatments. It may also mean taking steps to
avoid frozen water pipes. At Intelligent Service, our Chicago plumbing company
has seen many a burst pipe from cold winter nights causing the water inside the
pipes to freeze and expand.
If you are worried about a burst pipe during that next big
cold snap, or are planning to leave for the season, it might be a good idea to
try any of the following tips for avoiding frozen pipes.
Easy Ways to Keep Pipes from Freezing
You can make use of these suggestions without a lot of
expense or much extra effort. Plus, they can be implemented without interfering
with your ability to use the plumbing!
Let it Drip
If you are only expecting a brief cold snap, such as during
a winter storm, you can keep the pipes from freezing by letting water drip from
the faucets. Just turn each faucet slightly to allow for a slow drip that keeps
water moving through the pipes preventing it from solidifying.
Open the Doors
Many pipes run through cabinets and in utility rooms that
get kind of cold. Consider opening up your cabinet doors and the door to the
utility room to allow heat from the rest of the house into these spaces.
Insulate the Pipes
You can purchase foam pipe insulation to wrap around all of
the exposed pipes that will provide a little extra protection from cold air.
These are especially good in areas where there isn’t a lot of heating, such as
garages or under cabinets.
Seal Up Cracks
Get some insulation material or expanding foam and fill in
all of the cracks around your pipes, windows, and ventilation fans to help keep
the cold out. This is also a good way to help make your home more efficient.
Heat the Pipes
You can also purchase heating tape to wrap around exposed
pipes that are vulnerable to cold temperatures. This tape works like an
electric blanket with an electrical wire running through it that heats up when
Leaving the House Empty in Winter
If you are planning on leaving the house empty in the
wintertime, it’s better to drain the pipes of as much water as possible before
going. After all, no water in the pipes means they won’t freeze.
- Turn off the water main line that supplies water
to your house. It’s usually located in the utility room or just outside the
- Turn on all of the faucets in the house,
starting at the top floor and working your way down. Let the water run out
until it stops.
- Flush all of the toilets until they are completely
drained of water.
- Run all appliances that are connected to a water
line to flush their lines out.
- Flush any remaining water out of the drains
using an air compressor.
- Pour a small amount of anti-freeze into all of
the drains, toilets, and sinks.
Draining the water from your pipes may be a job that is
better completed by skilled plumbers in Chicago. When you are planning to leave
for the winter, give Intelligent Service a call to set up a free consultation.
Getting professionals on the job can help you avoid the costs of repiping your
home later on. You can also fill out our online form to request a free cost
estimate right away.