Frozen pipes are among the most common reasons homeowners call for plumbing services during the winter. From decreased water pressure to catastrophic leaks, frozen pipes can cost you thousands of dollars in water damage and pipe repair.

Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to keep your pipes from freezing. Following these simple guidelines will keep your water flowing all winter long while avoiding costly pipe repair or other damage.

Outdoor Prep

Before the weather turns cold, it’s important to properly winterize any outdoor water fixtures. If you have a sprinkler system, you should be sure to drain the supply lines to prevent them from cracking. You should also turn off the water supply to outdoor hose bibs, while leaving the bibs themselves open.

Insulate Pipes and Unheated Areas

Usually, pipes freeze because they’re exposed to unheated air, whether they’re running outside your home or through uninsulated indoor areas. If possible, you should make sure any areas with water pipes running through them are properly insulated, including attics and basements.

The most direct solution, though, is insulating the pipes themselves. You can get pipe insulation for as low as 50 cents per foot, and it’s easy to install. Just fit the insulation around any pipes you’re worried might be at risk of freezing. You can also purchase electric heat tape, which provides heat to keep your pipes open.

Close the Garage Door

Oftentimes, water supply lines are run through the garage. To keep these pipes from freezing, make sure your garage door stays closed as much as possible.

Let Your Faucets Drip

While it may seem wasteful, letting your faucets drip can help prevent your pipes from freezing. Running water carries energy-even cold water-so it keeps the water in your pipes from forming ice. And if your pipes have already frozen, running water can help speed the process of thawing them.

You don’t have to keep every faucet dripping, either. If you can narrow down which supply lines are at the greatest risk of freezing, you only need to run the faucets supplied by those lines.

Watch the Thermostat

While it’s tempting to try and save money by turning your thermostat down overnight, it can sometimes backfire in a big way. If your home’s temperature drops too low, your pipes could freeze, leaving you in need of an expensive pipe repair. Instead, try and keep your home’s thermostat set at a consistent level.

This is especially true when you go out of town. While you don’t have to keep your home as warm as normal, be sure to leave the temperature higher than 55 degrees. Otherwise, you might return home to a very unpleasant surprise.

Plumbers Near Me

Taking action is the best way to avoid costly pipe repair. For help keeping your pipes from freezing, or for any other plumbing services, contact Steve’s Plumbing. We’ll make sure your plumbing keeps flowing all year long.