How to Prevent your Pipes from Freezing

It can be very annoying and costly when you have water pipes that have frozen. There are some things that you should do in order to avoid the aggravation and expense of frozen pipes in your home.

It is not only the cost of fixing the pipe itself but the damage that can occur to the rest of your home when pipes freeze. Some of the things that can be damaged or ruined if pipes freeze in your home are walls, ceilings, floors, and things that are in a crawl space or your basement. Sometimes the damages stemming from frozen pipes are covered by insurance and sometimes they are not. It all depends on the circumstance and type of insurance policy you have. Even if it is the case that the insurance does cover the damage there will have to be construction done, which can be annoying and time consuming. This is why you should take the steps to ensure that your pipes will not freeze.

Some items you may need:
* Fiberglass insulation
* Pre-formed pipe sleeve insulation
* Electrical heating tape

Here are some things you can do to keep your pipes from freezing

Before the weather gets cold you should shut off the valve that supplies your water lines outside. Individual water supply lines that run outside of your home usually have a shut off valve that is located inside the house. Generally it is close to the point where the water supply travels outside. You can drain the outside lines by opening the tap and leaving it in the open position. By doing this it will let small amounts of water left in the line to freeze and expand. This will not cause any damage to the lines.

You should check the pipes that run close to walls outside your home, in your garage, or in crawl spaces that are unheated. For pipes that are inside of your home you can put fiberglass insulation between the pipes and the walls. This will help them to stay warm so they will not freeze.

* Any pipes that run through spaces that are not heated should be covered with insulation. One option that is not expensive is to use pre-formed pipe sleeve insulation that is specifically shaped to fit around copper wire pipe. You can butt the pieces together and then tape them into place.

Another option, which is better and more costly, is wrap the pipes with electrical heating tape. Electrical heating tape is designed in order to wrap around water pipes. The electrical heating tape will wrap around the pipes like a blanket and keep them from freezing. Make sure that the electric tape you buy has a UL symbol on them, as this means the tape is approved by Underwriters Laboratories.

* You have to insulate both hot running water pipes not just cold running water pipes. A hot running water pipe can be frozen solid just like a cold running water pipe.

Author: Jason Green