In Tallahassee, we are entering a stretch of weather with several days of below-freezing temperatures. As winter’s icy grip tightens, the risk of frozen water pipes becomes a concern for many homeowners. The potential damage caused by frozen pipes can lead to costly repairs and inconvenience. To help you safeguard your home, we’ve compiled essential facts and practical tips to prevent water pipes from freezing.

Understanding Freezing Pipes:

  • Water expands when it freezes, exerting tremendous pressure on pipes.
  • Pipes most susceptible to freezing are those located in unheated areas, along exterior walls, or in uninsulated spaces.

Insulation is Key:

  • Properly insulate vulnerable pipes with foam sleeves, heat tape, or similar materials.
  • Focus on attics, crawl spaces, and basements where temperatures can drop significantly.

Protecting Your Well:

  • Cover exposed well tanks, filters, water softeners, and pumps with an old blanket or tarp.
  • An incandescent light bulb can be added under the blanket or tarp near the pressure switch to keep the temperature above freezing.

Seal Gaps and Cracks:

  • Identify and seal gaps and cracks in walls, windows, and doors to prevent cold air infiltration.
  • Use caulk or weatherstripping to fortify these potential entry points.

Maintain Adequate Heating:

  • Keep your home well-heated, especially in areas with water pipes.
  • Insulate attics and basements to maintain a more consistent temperature.

Drip Faucets in Extreme Cold:

  • Allow a small, steady drip from faucets to relieve pressure in the pipes.
  • Moving water is less likely to freeze, reducing the risk of blockages.

Open Cabinet Doors:

  • In particularly cold weather, open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.

Disconnect Hoses and Shut Off External Water Sources:

  • Disconnect garden hoses and shut off external water sources to prevent freezing in outdoor pipes.

Install Pipe Heating Cable:

  • Consider installing pipe heating cable, especially for pipes in extremely vulnerable areas.

Keep Interior Doors Open:

  • Allow warm air to circulate freely by keeping interior doors open, promoting consistent heating throughout the home.

Prepare for Vacations:

  • When away from home during winter, set the thermostat to a minimum temperature to prevent freezing.

Taking proactive steps to prevent water pipes from freezing is essential for the well-being of your home. By understanding the factors contributing to frozen pipes and implementing these practical tips, you can enjoy a winter season free from the worry of plumbing issues. Protect your investment and maintain a comfortable, functioning home throughout the colder months.

 

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