If you live in cold and humid climates, and in addition your pipes are especially exposed to these harsh weather conditions (as it happens in many low houses, chalets or duplexes), today’s post will be crucial.
Keeping your pipes insulated from the low temperatures will guarantee you a calm winter without scares such as blow-outs due to freezing of the water they contain, a very common breakdown between December and February whose repair can get very expensive.
What to do to prevent your water pipes from freezing?
1. It is water, freezing, the real danger we are talking about. That is why it is important that you look for and solutions any type of dripping that is occurring in your plumbing system, from faucets to sinks, especially those that are closer to the outside or directly in the open.
2. In the yard and garden, always empty the hoses so that they do not contain water that, when turned into ice, burst them from the inside. In fact, when temperatures threaten to drop from zero, disconnect them from the external stopcock to prevent freezing as well, reaching the pipeline itself. If you have a water tank outside, keep it from freezing by pouring some glycerin into the tank.
3. The basements and external parts of the house usually have them, and they are the main candidates to stay stiff of cold and give you more scares. Insulating these pipes is essential, for which there are many thermal tapes and insulating accessories that you should install right now to prevent.
Regarding the thermal tapes, there are different types with different materials and performances. Some have an integrated thermostat, which needs the tape to be entangled between the pipe and the insulation. Some thermal tapes do not allow insulation on them, so it is best to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. When the electric fluid is not available and everything stays at the mercy of the cold, it is better that you leave a thin and constant stream of water, whose frictional force will make it harder to cold to freeze the water it contains.
5. First of all, check the state and material of the point we are talking about. Some plastics and copper will break if the transition is very abrupt, or simply because they have already cracked with freezing and are waiting to return to a warmer temperature to release all stored water. If you see a broken pipe, call a plumber for guarantees to take care of professionally if you want to avoid major problems. If the tube is made of a resistant metal, you can heat it by applying a remote soldering iron, a dryer or a heat lamp. Always do it very carefully and little by little, and never leave this process unsupervised.
6. It sounds like Chinese, but it is a very ingenious device that does not require electricity to operate, and will make warm water continuously circulate through the water lines whenever the temperature is below the point you have. Unlike the thermal tape, which only heats the pipes, this process circulates the water without interruption to avoid crystallization and freezing, regardless of whether the pipes are hidden. Keep in mind that this method requires that the valve be installed at a higher level (2nd or 3rd floor) than the water heater. The uninterrupted circulation of water through your system will increase your water heating bill. When you don’t want circulation, uninstall the valve and you’re done.
7. It is an elastomer that fits inside the pipes that are in problem areas, and that prevents the pipes from breaking by absorbing the expansion of frozen water.