5 Tips on How to Prevent Frozen Water Pipe this Winter
Winter is coming, and with it, frozen pipes. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to take the steps necessary now to prevent your pipes from freezing in the future—especially if you live in a home with an out-of-date heating system or low insulation. Frozen water pipes are inconvenient and can even cause property damage. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening, though not all of these involve massive expenses.
Pipes that freeze can cause a variety of problems: they can break, leak, or sometimes burst into flames. It’s important to find ways to make sure your pipes are protected from the harsh winters so they don’t freeze. Thankfully, there are things you can do that will help ensure the pipes are protected against the freezing temperatures. We’ll show you what these tips are, and how to use them to prevent frozen water taps this winter.
To prevent pipes from freezing:
1. Check your home’s insulation. If you live in a cold climate, your home definitely needs to be insulated. It may not seem like a lot can be done about insulation until it’s too late, but it is possible to do even simple things to ensure that your pipes are insulated as well—such as caulking around the outside of your pipes and holding insulation in place with j-hooks.
Caulking around the outside of pipes and windows [attention, builders!].
4 Ways to Unfreeze a Frozen Washing Machine
If you have a frozen washing machine, there are several ways to unfreeze it. Some are safer than others and some may even be easier. If you are unsure which approach to take, I would recommend one of the simplest. In our case, we tried it first. By taking the pipe out of the wall and unscrewing it from its head, water flowed freely again. This is the simplest approach, but may not be the gentle way to do it.
STEP 1: The first thing you need to do is determine whether or not your washing machine has a front-loading or a top-loading design. If it’s a top loading washing machine, you will want to freeze the water pipes in the pump and in the drain of that machine before any of the electrical power lines are frozen (see step 2). If it’s a front-loading machine, you will want to freeze the pipes that are inside the front of the machine.
STEP 2: Once you know what type of washing machine you have, you need to locate where there is a cold water pipe. On our machine, this was in the rear of the washing machine. If you have a top-loading model, this would be the pipe inside which fills up with water when you load your clothes. On a front-loading model, it would be the pipe that brings the water into the washing machine.
Conclusion: How To Prevent A Frozen Water Heater Pipe this Winter
If you are having trouble with a frozen water heater, here are some ideas to prevent this type of problem: (1) Keep your home warm. If you have older heating systems and low insulation, it is likely that water will freeze in the pipes below the heater. To prevent this, keep your house at a comfortable temperature of 60 degrees or higher. (2) Run the hot water before using it. When you turn on your hot water heater, run the hot water for a few seconds to melt away any ice that has formed inside the pipe. Then, use that very hot water to wash away any soap residue or dirt on your dishes. (3) Use a pipe wrap around the pipe below the water heater. Pipe wraps are made of rubber and can be placed around the pipe to keep water from freezing. Wrap the wrap around all pipes connected to your water heater before turning on your heat source. (4) Keep heat sources shut off when not in use. When you are not using your hot water heater, turn off the breaker. If you are using an electric hot water heater, turn off that breaker box as well.