The bitter cold and freezing temperatures are freezing pipes in many homes. And a frozen pipe can cause thousands of dollars of damage in a short period of time.
The Home Depot's Scott Krueger says there are several things that can help prevent frozen pipes.
- Disconnect garden hoses before cold weather comes. A connected hose could cause the short length of pipe that goes into the house to freeze.
- Insulate pipes in the attic and crawl spaces.
- When freezing weather hits, allow a slow drip from hot and cold faucets. This will relieve pressure on the system and allow water to circulate.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to pipes.
- Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.
- Consider a leak alarm or automatic water shutoff system.
If a pipe does freeze and burst, make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shutoff valve is.
- Using a candle or open flame to thaw a frozen pipe is dangerous and should never be done.
- Heat wrap should run along the length of a pipe. It takes less to cover the pipe than wrapping it around.
- Heat lamps can be a good, safe option and they cost as little as $7.
- Thermal heat guns are tailor made for thawing pipes, but they are an extra expense.
- You can also use a blow dryer to help heat up a frozen pipe.
- Seek professional help, if you can't get your pipe thawed. Frozen pipes can burst and cause thousands of dollars in damage.