How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
At what temperature do pipes freeze?
Pipes freeze at 20℉ because of the pipes’ insulation and constant water flow. Although water freezes at 32 degrees, pipes are warm enough not to feel the weather at that point. In addition, homeowners add insulation to the pipes in such cold areas to prevent easy and fast action. However, extreme cold can cause pipes to freeze and burst.
How long does it take for pipes to freeze and burst?
The freezing time for pipes and other components of the plumbing system depends on the level of insulation, outside temperature, and whether the water flows through a trickling faucet. However, there is the possibility of your pipes freezing within 2 hours and 20 minutes under certain conditions and bursting immediately after the pipes freeze. Remember that pipes in the home exposed to extreme cold can freeze and burst before you wake. Here are some ways to protect your pipes from freezing.
Evaluate your plumbing system for exposed pipes.
Homeowners should use their building blueprint to check for garages, basements, and other unheated areas in the home. Using the blueprint will make it easier to locate visible pipes. Check for exposed pipe areas and evaluate them with a temperature sensor. The sensor will indicate an area exposed to a harsh temperature similar to the outside temperature. When you evaluate your plumbing system, you find pipes that need maintenance or replacement.
Insulate unheated areas to protect pipes from freezing
Pipes that pass through unheated areas like the basement, garage, and crawl spaces often need the warmth they deserve, like those in a heated bedroom or living space. You can increase the warmth by insulating the unheated areas to prevent the pipes from bursting. In addition, insulation will help the home be maintained efficiently, leading to lower energy usage, thereby saving you money.
Insulating a pipe is something you can do DIY. Or hire and pay a professional to do it. Either way, it is a good way to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting. In addition, the process is cost-effective and keeps the temperature comfortable.
Furthermore, depending on whether it is cold water or hot water pipe and the number of joints and bends on the pipe, you can quickly get the best insulating material to prevent freezing. For thick insulation, go for rigid insulated pipe tubes that slip onto the pipes. You can also choose the wrap-around insulation if you have a pipe with complex joints. Other options like insulated pouches, fiberglass, and cotton are also good insulators of pipes to protect them from freezing.
Seal leaks and drafty areas to protect pipes from freezing
Another way to protect pipes from freezing is to patch up leaking or drafty areas in the home. If your home has leaks or gaps that allow exchange between the inside and outside of your home, it makes it easy for the cold temperature to enter the home leading to lower temperature on the plumbing leading to the freezing or bursting of pipes.
However, sealing these leaks or gaps is easy. First, check your home for places experiencing leaks or where air enters, like windows and door frames, dryer vents, and electrical wiring. Once you find a leaking area, use insulation or caulk to block the holes.
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