There are millions of plumbing emergencies caused by lack of winterizing or weatherproofing. Home owners have to understand that water and cold temperatures do not mix and in the end, the weather will always win in the form of broken pipes or other issues. This article will give you some quick and easy ways to ensure your pipes withstand the next cold spell and remain protected for years to come. If you are looking for ways to reduce the risk of damage due to poor weather conditions, continue reading this article to learn more.
The very first thing that should be done is insulating your pipes. We are talking about pipes that are located under the home, in a cold basement and along outer walls as these areas are extremely drafty and pipes tend to freeze in these areas. By purchasing foam pipe tubing, you can wrap each of your pipes and know that the chances of them freezing have been lowered greatly. It is also wise to wrap the corners and joints as well since the tubing will not effectively protect these areas. Simple roll insulation is ideal for those small sections of pipe.
All outside pipes should be buried immediately. It is difficult to understand why an outside pipe would not be buried but it happens and they need to be underground. You may have to add a section to the down pipe in order to get it to a depth that is acceptable and to code. If they are above ground, the elements of all seasons will make the line brittle and easier to break when freezing occurs. As mentioned, there really is no reason for water pipe to be exposed outside of agricultural or farming purposes and any exposed piping needs to be covered before a break occurs and a large amount of water is wasted when it thaws.
You should always have a heat source in the winter. Now it is understandable that times are tough and utility companies are just financially assaulting consumers and you may not have the money to heat a whole or an older home during the winter. At the least, make sure you have some space heaters available to warm those areas where piping may freeze. A 15 dollar space heater directed towards pipes under a kitchen cabinet will help prevent freezing. It won't stop it from ever happening but it does help and you need to keep the home temperature higher than that outside.
Obviously well water is ideal for all seasons but it is better to use in the winter for one huge reason. The water is relatively normal temperatures due to the ground insulating it. Most wells are at least 25 feet below the surface and free flowing. This will take a bit longer to freeze in your pipes and if you turn the faucets on just a drip or two a second, you should be freeze free during the cold months.
These tips will allow you to weatherproof your pipes and help prevent them from bursting in a deep freeze. The insulation is cheap and available at most stores. The goal is simply to keep the pipe warm at all costs as a repair of this nature could run from a few hundred dollars to a thousand or more. You do not need to wait until the cold months to weatherproof your pipes so why not start on the next nice day?