Before you go to visit your relatives or a sunny tropical resort this holiday season, it’s important to make sure your pipes don’t freeze while you’re away. The problem with a frozen pipe is when water freezes, it expands, causing the pipe to burst, which can flood your home. Coming home to a flooded house is definitely not an ideal Christmas present for you or your water bill. Here are a few tips to keep your pipes from freezing while you enjoy your time away this holiday season!
Cover Outdoor Faucets
After you finish throwing together that outdoor skating rink in the yard, it’s important to remove all of the hoses from their faucets and then put some type of covering over it. An uncovered faucet can allow left over water to freeze, and let new water in to the pipe when it snows. Protecting outdoor faucets is important to keep excess moisture out of your pipes.
Unless it’s being used to keep some presents on Santa’s behalf, under-sink cabinets should stay open. Keeping these cabinets open will let warm air circulate around the pipes beneath the sink, preventing them from freezing. A lack of warm air around the pipes can contribute to freezing pipes. In sinks, early warning signs of a freezing pipe include a weaker flow coming from the faucet.
Pipes are a lot like the presents under the tree: they need to be wrapped (in insulation). This is especially true for pipes that go through unheated parts of the home, like the attic or crawl space, and for those that run along exterior walls. However, insulating the pipes is not the cure-all solution because it will only slow down the process of freezing pipes, instead of preventing this problem.
Set the Thermostat
Your house shouldn’t feel like the North Pole while you are away for the holidays. Before you catch your flight, remember to set the thermostat to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the house at this temperature is big key in keeping pipes warm enough to keep the water from freezing. This is possibly the most important step to take when leaving your home for long periods of time this winter
Close the Windows
This is one of the easiest, and cheapest ways, to keep pipes working properly. Keeping windows closed this time of year will decrease the flow of cold air into your home. A cold draft can exponentially raise the chances of a frozen pipe due to already low, or subzero, temperatures. Drafts need to be eliminated to keep everything running smoothly, but be sure to leave your chimney open for Santa this holiday season.