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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Protecting Your Plumbing From Frostbite

The frigid temperatures this year are not only dangerous for humans and animals, but your plumbing as well. Before the thermometer drops into the teens you need to take preventative measures to protect you plumbing from frostbite. The main thing to remember is that the temperature is only one part of the problem. The main issue is the wind. The radiant heat from your home can keep your water and drain lines above freezing. The wind will remove the radiant heat and allow the cold temperatures to latch on and freeze the plumbing pipes and the water inside them. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent this from happening to you.
Seal any cracks or openings on the outside of your home. Use a high quality silicon sealant for the smaller cracks, and expanding foam for the larger ones. Seal cracks in brickwork with a masonry chalking.
Dap 08781 10.1-Ounce Clear Silicon Plus Premium Silicone Rubber Sealant
Seal any crawl space openings with metal covers or Styrofoam insulation, or both.

While most plumbing is located under your or in the basement, some of you may have water pipes in your attic. No mater where your pipes are located you should have them insulated. If they are located in the attic you need the insulate over the insulation so that the rising heat can reach the pipes and be trapped at that point.
Any pipe exposed to the elements need to be wrapped with electrical heat tape and insulated well.Easy Heat #AHB-118 18' Easyheat Heat Tape
Some of you know already that you have cold spots around certain plumbing that may have frozen in the past. Now is the time to break-out the light bulbs or radiant heaters and take the steps you know that you will need.
Leaving faucets dripping if you are not sure that you will have any problems is a good idea, especially at night when the temperature is the lowest. Be sure to check your drains that are free flowing, if they are clogged you may wake up to a real mess. Let the water run on full for about 5 minutes, this will ensure that you drains will handles the steady flow overnight.
If you have a washing machine out side on the porch or in the garage you want to protect it as well. Not only can the water lines and hoses freeze and break, but the water inside the pump of your washing machine can freeze and damage the pump.
LG : WM3431HS All-In-One Washer and Dryer TITANIUM

I will post more information asap.
Disclaimer: There is no guarantee that you will absolutely not have any problems. These are only precautions that I have seen help in the past.

1 comment:

  1. This is great advice. You definitely need to pay attention to this advice especially if you have an outhouse for your aplliances such as washing machines, during winter months these are prime examples of trouble spots.