How to Protect Your Pipes From Freezing
There are a lot of things that characterize a Minnesota winter. Beautiful snowfall, ice skating, snowmen, hot cocoa… and the ever-present danger of frozen pipes. Welcome to the Midwest, right? While the team at Ben Franklin Plumbing MN can’t help you win your local igloo building contest, we can help you protect your home from mid-winter pipe bursting.
Follow this list of preventative measures, and you’ll be able to protect your pipes no matter how cold it gets:
- Drain water from any outdoor water supply lines such as those used for swimming pools, hot tubs, or lawn sprinklers. The manufacturer will have directions for completing the drainage safely if you contact them.
- If you have any hoses outside your house, don’t leave them out there through wintertime. Unhook them, drain them, and store them indoors or somewhere covered, like your garage.
- Keeping your home’s interior doors, including cabinet doors, open can help keep your pipes warm and prevent freezing. Open doors allows the heat in your house to circulate more easily and reach cold pipes.
- Even though you need to remove the hoses, keep outside hose bibs and valves open. That way, water is allowed to drain and any water that wasn’t removed can expand without causing damage.
- If there are areas of your home where you’re concerned about temperature, adding additional insulation can prevent problems. The most typical problem areas include attics and basements.
- If you have water supply lines in your garage, never leave the garage door open for extended periods of time.
- There are pipe-insulation products available that can help you take an extra step toward protecting yours. Look into upgrades like pipe sleeves. Ask your local plumber about heat tape or heat cables.
- When it’s especially cold outside, opening up faucets ever-so-slightly and letting cold water drip helps to prevent pressure from building and prevents pipes from freezing.
- Set your thermostat to the same temperature during both the day and night time. This will lead to a slightly higher heating bill, but it can also help you to prevent the far more costly repairs that come from burst pipes.
- If you plan on leaving on vacation during winter months, don’t leave your at-home thermometer set to lower than approximately 55 degrees fahrenheit.
Even if you follow all these tips, sometimes bad luck strikes – especially in a part of the world where our state’s record low temperature was -60 degrees fahrenheit (that’s close to average temperatures in places like Antarctica).
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