Prevent Your Pipes From Bursting

by on 01/19/2015 - 04:16 pm

Categories: Home Technology, Kitchen & Bath

By Raj Rai

Owner, WeatherKing Heating & Air Conditioning

Even though you cannot see them, pipes carrying water throughout your home can cause lots of damage if they freeze and break during winter’s frigid weather. As water expands from liquid to solid when it freezes, it puts pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. If they burst, they can cause flooding and costly water damage to your home.

The most susceptible pipes are those that are exposed to the cold air, such as outdoor hose bibs, pipes that run against exterior walls, and water supply pipes in unheated areas including inside kitchen cabinets, attics, basements, and garages. Here are some tips on preventing your pipes from freezing.

  • Make sure you have adequate insulation in your home. Especially beef up insulation in basements, attics, and crawl spaces. You can also add products for extra insulation directly to your water pipes, such as foam pipe sleeves, heat tape, or heat cable.
  • Install a frost protection thermostat on boilers that will turn on automatically if the temperature drops to a dangerous level.
  • On occasion, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow the warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • Let your faucets trickle once in a while during the winter to prevent the water inside from freezing. Let both hot and cold water drip.
  • During extreme cold weather, set your thermostat to the same temperature during the day and night, since lowering it at night can cause your pipes to freeze when the temperatures are at the lowest.
  • If you go on vacation during the winter, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature at least above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. For added protection, you can also shut off the main water supply and drain the system by opening all the faucets throughout your home and flushing the toilets.

Also, don’t forget about pipes outside your home, as even a frozen garden hose can burst an interior pipe. All garden hoses should be disconnected and drained, and keep the outside valve open so any water in the pipe can expand. You should also caulk outside pipes where they enter your home. If you have a swimming pool or sprinkler system, those pipes should also be drained.

Headquartered in Northfield, Ohio, WeatherKing Heating & Air Conditioning provides a full spectrum of heating, cooling, and clean air services for homes and businesses. This privately owned company is licensed, bonded, and insured and also offers 24/7 emergency service. For more information, call 330-597-2333, or visit