If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having a water pipe freeze and burst, you know first hand about what a devastating impact it can have on your home. The broken pipe itself is actually relatively minor, but the damage caused by the leaking water running through your walls and ceiling can mean a major reconstruction project, requiring replacing drywall, ceilings and maybe even furniture and appliances. Here are some ways to make sure you never have to go through that hassle.
1. Plan ahead and figure out which pipes could potentially freeze. Water pipes running through unheated crawl spaces and pipes running through walls to the outside are prime candidates for freezing.
2. Turn off the water supply lines running to your outside taps before the cold weather arrives. There is usually a shut off valve in the water supply line close to where it goes through the outside wall. Once the water is shut off inside, go outside and open the outside taps as well. This will drain any water remaining in the pipe or in the tap, so there’s nothing to freeze.
3. Check any pipes that run close to outside walls. Put some insulation between the pipe and the wall to help keep the cold away from the pipe.
4. Insulate any pipes that run through unheated crawl spaces. Wrap them with finsulation and tape or put preformed pipe sleeve insulation along the pipes, then tape the sleeves in place.
5. Install electrical heating tape (available at home stores) on any pipes that run through areas that get really cold, like garages.
6. OR, simply an innovative and patented technology known as a “temperature controlled hot water recirculating valve” (is a breeze to install-no pipe cutting, soldering or electrical connections). It uses your existing water pipes and the thermal convection generated by your water heater to keep water circulating water back to your water heater for reheating (not requiring a pump or any electricity). Warm circulating water will not freeze. These systems are temperature-controlled and are easily adjustable to meet your particular temperature needs. There is no water waste and it also reduces the energy required to heat your water while it provides instant hot water to your faucets and showers.