Freezing and bursting pipes are a concern for almost everyone during winter. Pipes in this condition can make bathing, washing and laundering clothes impossible; what's worse is that when ice in lines creates a dangerously high pressure that compels them to burst, that results in messes and expensive repairs. What could you do to arrest this possibility?
Usually, the reason pipes can freeze is their lack of warmth or insulation. If the house is in a beach area and has many exposed pipes running beneath the home in a crawlspace, for example, they're likely to have more open-air exposure that will result in freezing conditions. To protect lines, it's most sensible to warm them with insulation. Whether using foam or rubber insulation, pre-cut pieces can be fit around exposed or very cold pipes.
Use Heating Tape
If pre-cut sleeves don't seem to fit your pipes or you want something more effective, heating tape is also a solution. Heating tape, if you get sufficient amounts, can be taped around all lines and then plugged into an interior or exterior outlet. The tape will be warmed with electricity and so will pipes.
Let Taps Run
Each tap should be left trickling if you're concerned about freezing or bursting. With water escaping the pipe system, pressure will never build to a dangerous point. Leave all the taps open slightly until temperatures rise.
Your interior warmth can have a warming effect on pipes too. If your house is comfortable, open bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen cabinets so the pipes can warm closer to interior temperatures. This is not always a solution in itself, but it can be done with other measures.
Leave Heat On
If you're about to go out for the weekend, shutting the heat down is probably your plan. However, that will lower temperatures so drastically freezing is possible. Instead, lower heat slightly.
If vacations or work trips will be keeping you away for many weeks, draining out the entire system is likely the best scenario. With very little or no water in the pipes, any freezing won't be enough to increase pressure to the point where bursting occurs.
Your own efforts could be valiant, but if you want full confidence about your pipes, plumbers are needed. They can recommend tactics and ensure that all system lines are in a condition to avoid ever freezing. For more information, contact a company like L.J. KRUSE COMPANY.