Preventing Frozen Pipes

Did You Know?

One of the messiest and most costly homeowner repairs is fixing a burst frozen pipe. Water from a burst pipe can cause damage to carpeting, short out electrical appliances and ruin furniture. Luckily, there are several products on the market that offer some security against these nightmares.

Symptoms Of Frozen Pipes

One of the earliest signs of a frozen pipe is when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on. If you notice that, head first to the basement and check to see that the water is still turned on and that you don't have a leak.

Prevention Of Frozen Pipes

Spray Foam

Foam is sprayed into the wall to fill cavities around pipes when the temperature cools.

  • Foam insulates walls and blocks airflow.
  • Make sure you also caulk exterior joints on the outside wall near pipes.

Heat Tape

The tape plugs into a grounded outlet and is then spiral wrapped around pipes.

  • Tapes have built-in thermostats that automatically call for power when the temperature drops near freezing.
  • When the temperature rises, the power cuts off.

In-Pipe Heating Elements

Devices are placed in water and sewer pipes and conduct heat directly into the pipe as needed.

Valve Units

Products are screwed onto taps (usually outside) and prohibit water from going through when temperatures are too low.

  • The valve sensor detects low and high temperatures.
  • When the low temperature is detected, the sensor opens a micro-valve to produce heat.
  • As the temperature rises, the valve closes.

Safety First: Know What To Do

Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes. You should also avoid using a space heater, unless you are sure the area is clear of any flammable material.

  • Keep your faucet open and use heat tape or a hair dryer to gently and slowly thaw the pipe.

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Posted 10:00 AM

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