Frozen pipes are one of the most distressing problems a homeowner can encounter. Here's how to prevent freezing pipes and how to un-freeze pipes if you're in a fix.
Freezing can create leaks because the frozen water expands and cracks the copper tubing. Not only do you have little to no water supply, but when the pipes do thaw out, you can have some serious leaks to repair.
Rules to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep all water-supply piping away from outside walls, where it could be exposed to cold winter weather.
- If it is imperative to have pipes located on an outside wall, they must be well-insulated.
- Piping insulation is sold in both rubber and fiberglass.
Tips to Fixing Frozen Pipes
- Try the hair-dryer trick. Find the area where the pipe appears to be frozen, and work the dryer up and down the pipe. If the pipe has cracked, water will start gushing out as soon as the ice is dislodged.
- You may want to know where your nearest turn-off valve is before you try using a hair-dryer.
Duct tape is a fibered tape known for its strength, durability and water resistance. It's a quick fix for everything from leaky canoes to ripped seat covers to damaged pipes to broken furniture.