Frozen pipes are one of the worst plumbing problems any homeowner has to deal with, and probably the last thing you want to have to think about this winter. Outdoor pipes leading to swimming pools and sprinklers, water supply lines in unheated areas such as basements and garages, and pipes that run through exterior walls with poor insulation are usually the biggest culprits for this issue. Keep reading for 5 ways to prevent your pipes from freezing, courtesy of our skilled Des Moines plumbers, and make sure to hire Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for pipe repairs, installations, and more.
The Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter Are:
- Drain Water from Swimming Pool & Sprinkler Lines: Because swimming pool and sprinkler supply lines are two of the biggest frozen pipe risks, it’s better just to drain these lines entirely before the weather gets too cold. Follow the manufacturer instructions when doing this, and try to avoid using antifreeze, as the chemicals in this product are extremely harmful for people, pets, and the environment.
- Put Away Outdoor Drain Hoses: Putting away outdoor hoses and storing them properly is the only way to ensure your equipment does not get damaged over winter. You should also drain hose spigots and close the indoor valves attached to them. You will want to keep your outside valves open so water that accumulates in these components does not cause them to break.
- Consider Adding More Insulation: By adding insulation to interior spaces such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and cabinets, as well as exterior areas where outdoor water lines are located, you will greatly reduce the chance of frozen pipes. This is probably a job for a heating and cooling professional, meaning you may have to hire an HVAC tech to help you complete this process.
- Put “Sleeves” Around Your Pipes: If you live in a particularly cold area, you may want to insulate your pipes directly with “pipe sleeves” or UL-approved (certified by product safety company Underwriter Laboratories) "heat tape” or "heat cables." A DIY method of doing this would be to wrap your exposed pipes in a fourth an inch of newspaper, though this is unlikely to protect them from the freezing cold.
- Consider Moving Exposed Pipes: While this will definitely require the assistance of an experienced plumber, if you are extremely worried about your exposed pipes freezing, you can always see if they can be relocated.