Winter arrived abruptly in the last two weeks, and with it the chances for frozen pipes. When it’s too late to insulate, these tricks help avoid frozen pipes…
- Open the closets. Water pipes may run in the wall behind a closet. A full or closed closet effectively blocks room heat from penetrating the wall and into the pipes.
- Open cabinet doors. This lets warm air circulate to the water lines under the faucet.
- Get up at night. Periodically run the faucets and flush the commode to move standing water.
- Shut off the water. If there is no heat due to a power outage, shut off the supply line. If traveling during the winter, even for a day or two, shut off the main. By the way, a shut off is of no use if it can’t be turned, so test it before it is needed.
- Trickle the faucet. Because moving water is less likely to freeze, as a last resort, let the water run just a trickle overnight.
- Use the hair dryer. Freezing pipes can be warmed by moving a hair dryer across the pipe, but do not hold the nozzle in one place for long.
If the worst happens and a pipe or joint seam fails, turn off your main water supply and contact a plumber. Get more information on how to prevent and thaw frozen pipes from the American Red Cross.