If you live in cold and humid climates, and your pipes are especially exposed to these harsh weather conditions (as in many low houses, chalets or duplexes), today’s post will be crucial.
Keeping your pipes insulated from low temperatures will guarantee you a quiet and frost-free winter like the freezing of the water they contain, a very common breakdown between December and February whose repair can be very expensive.
What to do to avoid freezing your water pipes?
Tip #1: Stop dripping.
It’s the water, when it freezes, the real danger we’re talking about. That is why it is important that you look for and find solutions to any type of dripping that is occurring in your plumbing system, from taps to sinks, especially those that are closer to the outside or directly outdoors.
Tip #2: Beware of water on the outside.
In the yard and garden, always empty the hoses so that they do not contain water that, when turned into ice, burst them from the inside. In fact, when temperatures are threatening to drop below zero, disconnect them from the external stopcock to prevent them from freezing too, as far as the pipe itself.
If you have a water tank outside, avoid freezing by pouring some glycerin into the tank.
Tip #3: Protect the pipes from unheated water.
The basements and outside parts of the house usually have them, and they are the main candidates to stay stiff and cold and give you more scares.
Isolating these pipes is fundamental, for which there are many thermal tapes and insulating accessories that you should install right now to prevent.
With respect to thermal tapes, there are different types with different materials and functions. Some have an integrated thermostat, which requires the tape to be entangled between the pipe and the insulation. Some thermal tapes do not allow insulation to be placed on them, so it is best to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Tip #4: Water moving against freezing.
When the electrical fluid is unavailable and everything stays at the mercy of the cold, it is better to leave a fine and constant stream of water circulating, whose frictional force will make it harder to freeze the water it contains in the cold.
Tip #5: How to heat a frozen pipe.
First of all, check the state and material we’re talking about.
Some plastics and copper will break if the transition is too abrupt, or simply because they have already cracked with freezing and are waiting to return to a warmer temperature to release all the stored water.
If you notice a broken pipe, call a warranty plumber to take care of it professionally if you want to avoid major problems.
If the tube is made of a sturdy metal, you can heat it by applying a remote welder, dryer or heat lamp. Always do it with great care and slowly, and never leave this process unsupervised.
Tip #6: Use a hot water recirculation valve with thermal convection temperature control.
It sounds Chinese, but it’s a very ingenious device that doesn’t require electricity to operate, and will continuously circulate warm water through the water lines whenever the temperature is below the point you have.
Unlike thermal tape, which only heats the pipes, this process circulates water without interruption to prevent crystallization and freezing, regardless of whether the pipes are hidden.
Keep in mind that this method requires the valve to be installed at a higher level (2nd or 3rd floor) than the water heater. The uninterrupted circulation of water through your system will increase your water heating bill. When you don’t want circulation, uninstall the valve and that’s it.
Tip #7: Place a material called ICE LOC.
It is an elastomer that fits inside pipes in problematic areas and prevents pipes from breaking when absorbing the expansion of frozen water.
Tip #8: line the pipes with grout.
In this post we explain how to do it on video, in addition to giving you some extra valuable tips to avoid having a hard time during this winter that begins.
Share this information with your family and friends who live in colder and more exposed areas.