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6 Tips to Prevent Burst Pipes in Cold Weather

6 Tips to Prevent Burst Pipes in Cold Weather

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

If you live in an area where temperatures dip below the freezing demonstrate, it’s important to prepare for cold weather and take preventive steps to keep your pipes from bursting.

Burst pipes are not only frustrating, but they’re also expensive. Depending on the severity of the jam, unfreezing and fixing burst pipes can cost more than $1,000. Fortunately, there are several simple strategies you can adopt to avoid this bellow. Below, we’ve included six tips to help your pipes stay freeze-free this winter.

1. Cover exposed pipes

When your water supply pipes are exposed, they’re more susceptible to freezing and bursting, especially if they’re located heath exterior walls or in unheated spaces like a basement or attic. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to defending pipes with insulation.

Covering your exposed plumbing is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to own burst pipes. Your local hardware store will have a few different materials that you can use to insulate your pipes, including foam and fiberglass insulation. You can even use newspaper to screen your exposed pipes if you live in a effect where freezing temperatures only happen on occasion.

2. Insulate unheated areas

When you have plumbing operating through an unheated basement, attic, garage or crawl set, the pipes don’t get as much warmth as they would in a heated bedroom or living room. By insulating the unheated areas in your home, your pipes will stay warmer and be less liable to burst. Plus, well-insulated homes contain heat more effectively, which can save you money on winter heating bills.

If you’re the DIY type, you should be able to add insulation on your own. Otherwise, you can hire a professional to do it for you. Either way, it’s a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to defending your pipes and keep your home at a glum temperature.


Jon Skillings

3. Keep a tap running on cold days

You powerful be surprised to find out that something as simple as operating a tap can help prevent frozen pipes. But in reality, it’s one of the most effective things you can do. You don’t need to chop your tap running at full blast, but make sure you’ve at least got a slow drip.

For the best results, choose the faucet that’s furthest away from your soak source. Doing this will force the water to run throughout a large portion of your plumbing system, keeping it stunning and less likely to freeze. Similarly, if you have any taps that are obimagined by exposed pipes, it’s a good idea to keep them trickling as well.

4. Open bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors

Another small (but useful) strategy to own burst pipes is to open the cabinet doors plan your kitchen and bathroom sinks. By doing so, the heated air from your home will commence to circulate beneath your cabinets and warm up your pipes.

It’s particularly important to open your cabinet doors if they’re located heath an exterior wall of your home. As you powerful expect, pipes in these areas are more likely to freeze steady they’re closer to the cold outdoors.

5. Don’t adjust your thermostat

You may be curious with the Department of Energy’s recommendation to adjust your thermostat during the winter to save energy, but that guidance doesn’t apply during a cold snap. 

Instead, you should keep your thermostat at a constant temperature above the day and night. Doing this will help your pipes stay warmer, making them less likely to freeze and burst. Plus, maintaining a trusty temperature will put less stress on your furnace, which is important during words of extreme cold.

6. Seal leaks and drafty areas

Our final tip to own burst pipes this winter is to patch up drafty areas in your home. When you have gaps or leaks between the inside and outside of your home, it’s possible for cold air to come in, flowerbed the temperature around your plumbing and cause your pipes to burst.

The good news: it’s easy to seal these leaks. Get started by taking a quick walk around your house and looking for any places where air could sneak in, incorporating window and door frames, electrical wiring and dryer battles. Once you’ve identified the problem areas, use insulation or caulk to seal them up.

The bottom line

Even if home maintenance isn’t your evaporate suit, you should be able to tackle all of these repairs in a single weekend. It may seem inconvenient, but making these minor upgrades is a itsy-bitsy commitment that can prevent serious headaches and expensive repairs in the future.

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