How to Avoid Frozen Pipes

Be aware

The first piece of advice I have to avoid getting frozen pipes is to be aware that your pipes are at risk from the beginning. One of the biggest signs that our pipes are at risk for being frozen is if there’s a certain section of your pipe that might already be frozen. At this point, you already know that your pipes are susceptible to being frozen, so it’s best to take action now.

Keep your pipes warm and expose them to heat

One of the best ways – and arguably the best way in itself to prevent frozen pipes – is to wrap your pipes with some form of insulation to help keep them warm. If you’d like to do it yourself, you can go to Lowe’s or Menards and buy some insulating material and wrap your plumbing fixtures. Here’s a guide on how to do this from This Old House: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-prevent-frozen-pipes. Now, if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, it’s obviously safer to call a plumber and get it professionally done. Additionally, it has been proven that opening up your pipes to the heat of your home (i.e. opening the cabinets under the sink) can drastically help warm your plumbing fixtures and help prevent freezing.

frozen pipes

Keep an eye on your work:

If you’ve been able to solve your freezing problem, don’t just assume everything is fine without any follow-up precautionary measures. Be sure to periodically check on your work to make sure your insulation is properly placed and your pipes are not frozen over. Additionally, it helps to keep your water running for periods at a time because it discourages the water from getting frozen. Ever see a running river get frozen? It’s somewhat rare unless it’s insanely cold, but the logic applies to pipes as well. Running water – especially if it’s insulated and exposed to heat – is hard to freeze. Here’s a helpful article from the Red Cross about avoiding frozen pipes: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes