During January and early February, the Northern Hemisphere experiences its coldest temperatures of the year. It is during this time that unprotected and uninsulated water pipes are most likely to freeze and break, thus costing you hundreds of dollars in repairs. Even buildings in the Northern United States are prone to this problem when temperatures hit record lows or if there are holes in the building that allow cold air circulation.
Insulate Pipes To Mitigate Effects of Freezing Temperatures
To prevent frozen pipes this winter, there are several steps you can take. If you live in an older home, your pipes may not have the insulation necessary to prevent freezing. Pipes most vulnerable are those along the outer foundation wall, in attics, or those near holes drilled to allow for television cables and phone lines access to the building. An expensive fix is to pay a plumber to reroute water lines through more insulated parts of your home. More reasonably priced is the option of purchasing insulation sleeves, foam rubber, or wrapping from a hardware store and installing it on your piping yourself.
Relieve Pipe Pressure With Dripping Faucet
Many people think pipe breakage is due to the expansion of ice in the pipe. What actually happens, however, is that when a pipe is totally blocked by ice, the water trapped between the ice plug and the faucet becomes pressurized. The more ice forms and the longer the pressure is sustained, the more likely it is the pipes will burst. Allowing your faucet to drip even the slowest of drips relieves this pressure. Be sure if the faucet is equipped with both hot and cold lines that you leave both lines turned on slightly, as both may be prone to freezing.
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