There are several simple remedies to keep water pipes from freezing when the weather turns severely cold, as well as several remedies that can be costly.
Here are ways to keep pipes from freezing:
1. Leave the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink open so that the room air can warm the pipes.
2. Place a lamp with a 60-watt bulb in the potential problem area to warm the walls and pipes. Make sure there are no combustible materials near the bulb.
3. With rigid foam insulation, close and seal all foundation vents that are near water pipes.
4. Insulate the foundation walls and the ends of the floor joists with rigid foam insulation.
5. If the crawl access is inside the home, set a fan in the opening to blow warm air from the home to the foundation. Don’t use a fan when the access is in an unheated garage or outside the home.
6. If the water pipes are freezing inside the exterior wall, cut an opening in the wall to expose the pipes to the home’s warm air. Place fiberglass insulation behind the pipes, between the pipes and the home’s exterior wall. The hole in the wall can be covered later with a hinged door or a panel that can be removed during cold spells.
7. Have the home’s exterior walls insulated. Caulk and seal around doors, windows, house faucets and outside outlets.
8. There is also new innovative technology on the market that is easy to install (not requiring pipe cutting or electrical wiring) and a great pipe freezing prevention aid. A temperature controlled thermal convection powered hot water recirculation valve installed at the plumbing fixture at the end of the “at risk plumbing run” (pipes most likely to freeze), will allow water to flow from your water heater-through the existing hot water pipe in the “at risk plumbing run”-to the recirculation valve. From the recirculation valve the water will continue back to the water heater (for reheating)-through the cold water pipe in the “at risk plumbing run”. The system contains a sensor, which opens the valve only when the water temperature drops below the adjustable temperature setting. This open loop of water circulation keeps temped water circulating through the “at risk plumbing run” without wasting water while also providing faster hot water to all your fixtures.