How To: Keep Elsa Out of Your Pipes

Dec 27, 2017

We probably can’t thank Elsa for the bitter cold we’ve experienced lately, and temperatures like that come with a host of their own problems. Keeping your water pipes from freezing during winter is incredibly important. With a few tips, you can make sure the water keeps flowing in your house (and avoid some costly visits from a plumber).

  • Keep your heat on. Heating costs are always a concern during the winter, but keeping the heat on, even minimally, will help avoid frozen, or worse, burst pipes and a bill from a plumber.
  • Open your kitchen cabinets. Leaving cabinet doors open allows heat to circulate near the pipes, which helps keep them from freezing.
  • Let your sink drip. A steady drip of water from at least one sink in your house helps keep the warmer-than-freezing water moving from the source through your house. It’s when the water stops moving that the pipes have the opportunity to freeze.
  • Unhook garden hoses. Leaving a garden hose attached to the faucet outside can cause water to get trapped, freeze and expand. When the water expands, it creates cracks in the pipes, which can leak and cause other issues.
  • Seal air gaps. Look at the place where pipes enter your house. Even the smallest air leak near the pipes can cause them to freeze in these sub-zero temperatures. 

If, despite your best efforts, you wake up one morning to find your pipes frozen, don’t just wait for them to thaw, especially if temperatures will remain cold for a while. As more water builds up and freezes in the pipes, it can cause your pipes to burst.