Insulate Pipes: Insulate
hot and cold water pipes in the crawlspace under your house as well as in
the basement, attic, and exterior walls (if accessible) with snap-on foam
insulation. Make sure foam insulation fits tightly without gaps. Apply
duct tape to joints in insulation, and miter foam around elbows, so joints
in pipes are completely covered.
Heat Pipes: Consider
wrapping problem pipes with UL approved heat tape that has a built-in
thermostat to prevent overheating. Follow the instructions that come with
heat tape carefully to keep from causing a fire hazard.
Sprinkler System: Turn
off your sprinkler system, and blow compressed air through the irrigation
lines to drain the water.
Drip Faucets: Drip
both hot and cold water at faucets in kitchen and bathroom. This not only
keeps water moving through the pipes, but relieves built-up water pressure
in the pipes if they should freeze. Set single lever faucets in the center
so both hot and cold lines drip. Pay particular attention to pipes running
in outside walls.
Laundry Room: If
there isn’t a faucet in the laundry room to drip, set your washing machine
on warm, and start the fill cycle periodically for a few minutes to run
water through the pipes.
your icemaker to make ice if the icemaker water line runs under house.
cabinet doors under sinks in the kitchen and bath if the cabinets are
located on exterior walls, to allow inside heat to pipes.
garage door closed during extreme cold weather.
houses that have a crawlspace, make sure the foundation is completely
enclosed, and fill any gaps in foundation walls with caulking or expanding
foam. Close or cover the foundation vents under house during extreme cold
and weather strip exterior basement windows and doors.
Garden Hose: Disconnect
and drain garden hoses.
Exterior Faucets: To
protect exterior faucet around your foundation, either cover faucets with
insulated foam covers, cut off water to exterior faucets and open faucets
to drain pipes, or install exterior faucets that cut water supply off
inside foundation walls.
Check for Leaks: Once
the weather has warmed up, turn off any dripping faucets as well as the
icemaker, then monitor the water meter for any
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
Water Cut-Off: Locate
the water main cut-off valve, and have a water cut-off key handy before
attempting to thaw out frozen pipes.
Open Faucet: Open
the faucet the pipe runs to before thawing a frozen pipe to allow water to
flow through the pipe and relieve any built-up pressure in the pipe.
Heat Frozen Pipe: Use
a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or portable space heater to
thaw frozen pipes that haven’t burst. Start from the interior faucet end
of the pipe, and work your way toward colder end of the pipe.
Check for Leaks: After
pipes have thawed, turn off all water to faucets and the icemaker, and monitor the water meter for any