15 Jan Preventing Frozen Pipes
The New Year brought in a rather unsuspected cold front to Louisiana leaving many residents with an inconvenient surprise: frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands by about 9%. This causes increased pressure in your home’s pipes, which can lead to pipes cracking or bursting.
Most homeowners insurance policies cover “sudden and accidental” discharge of water from a plumbing source. Damage caused by frozen pipes usually qualifies as sudden and accidental meaning that Homeowners insurance policies do not cover the cost to repair the section of broken pipes. Here are some ways to prevent your pipes from freezing in the future.
Protect Outdoor Water Sources
It’s important to remove garden hoses from outdoor water faucets. When a hose is attached, faucets are unable to drain properly, and this can lead to faucets freezing and breaking. After you remove the hoses, cover all exterior faucets. You may purchase faucet covers that are easy to install and can be reused each year. If your home has an exterior shut off, turn off the water and drain pipes before installing faucet covers to prevent buildup.
Turn Up The Thermostat
Many people want to save a few bucks on their electric bill during the winter, but during a cold snap, it is not the time to set the thermostat back. Keep your home heated to 55 degrees or higher: especially when you are out of town. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate the plumbing.
Insulate pipes near your crawlspace, exterior walls, and attic of your home. This is where the chance of freezing is higher. There are many ways to insulate your pipes including pipe-wrap insulation, and tubular sleeve insulation. When selecting water pipe insulation, make sure you remove any dirt or grease from your pipes before insulating.
Leave Water Running
Turn on hot and cold faucets near the exterior walls of your home and allow a small trickle of water to run overnight. This keeps water moving through your pipes and will relieve pressure should they freeze. Remember that stagnant water freezes easier than running water.
Turn Off Water Supply and Drain System
If you will be away from home for an extended period, locate and turn off the outdoor water shut off valves. This is usually located near the ceiling or inside the wall. This will likely prevent your pipes from freezing.
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