Maintain Your Pipes and Your Business

4 Last Minute Tactics For Keeping Water Pipes From Bursting

by Sheila Vasquez

In a perfect world, you would winterize your pipes long before the cold season actually got underway. In reality, however, many people overlook these preparations until it's too late--and end up dealing with the headache and expense of burst pipes. Luckily, you can avoid burst pipes by employing the four simple strategies that follow when the weather in your area dips below freezing.

Learn to love a leaky faucet.

Stagnation is one of the biggest contributors to burst pipes. In other words, when water stops moving, it's much more likely to freeze up. Therefore, when the temperature drops below the freezing point, it's a good idea to turn on your faucets--and leave them on until the weather warms up. Don't worry, this doesn't have to be wasteful; even a sporadic drip is enough to keep your system from freezing.

Throw open your cabinet doors.

Especially in the kitchen and bathroom, water pipes can often be accessed behind cabinet doors. By opening up all such cabinets, more warm air will be able to circulate around the pipes. Though it may not seem like much, this can help keep the water temperatures inside the pipes as high as possible. Because your water pipes are interconnected, this will help to minimize the chances that a pipe elsewhere in the house will burst.

Wrap cold pipes with hot towels.

The most susceptible pipes in your home are those that run through the basement and along exterior walls. That's because these pipes have a hard time benefiting from the heat inside of your home. So when cold weather strikes, you're going to want to do anything you can to keep that water flowing. Wrapping them with rags and/or towels is a great way to provide a little extra insulation. Soaking those towels in boiling water will have an even greater impact.

Reach for the hairdryer or space heater when pipes freeze.

If you've just gone to turn on your water, only to find that no water will come out, chances are one of your pipes have frozen. If you have an idea where the freeze is located, and you've managed to catch the problem quickly enough, you may be able to thaw out the pipe using a hairdryer. If you're having trouble pinpointing the problem pipe, consider setting up a space heater in cold-prone areas like the basement. Just be sure to check in on it regularly. After all, a house fire may be the only thing worse than a frozen pipe! 

For plumbing help, contact a company such as Able Plumbing-Pumps & Well Service.