When the temperature drops well below freezing, as it has in Wichita recently, all homeowners need to take precautions against their pipes freezing. When pipes freeze, they can burst and flood your home. Plan ahead and take some preventive measures against frozen pipes.
Here are five ways to prevent broken water pipes:
- Take a walk around your home and disconnect any hoses. If you can, go ahead and close the valves to any external water sources.
- Pipe insulation is easy and quick to install. If the pipes in your basement or crawlspace aren’t insulated, head to the home improvement store and purchase insulation. You just cut it to length and slide it over the pipe. If your pipes are exposed, use heat tape (heat tape uses an electric current to keep the pipe above freezing.) You can also do it yourself, as long as you have a ground fault interrupt outlet to plug the tape in to.
- If you’re going to be gone, leave your furnace running and set the thermostat at 55 degrees or higher. This should prevent broken water pipes, but you still need to have someone check your home occasionally—especially if we have a storm that knocks out power.
- We still see people running their sprinkler systems on warmer days, even though it’s winter. This is dangerous, as the pipes can freeze. You need to have the water flushed (and remain flushed) from your sprinkler system prior to winter so it’s not damaged on the bitterly cold days.
- Finally, if a pipe does burst, be prepared and know where the main shut-off valve to your home is. Hopefully you can shut the water off before it damages your home.
A few easy steps can prevent broken water pipes and the associated costs that come with repairing them. If you’re interested in other tips for homeowners, contact Comfort Systems. We’ve been serving the HVAC needs of Wichita-area residents since 1953.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about pipes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.