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Which pipes freeze first?

Posted on: October 16, 2014

Frozen pipes are a hot topic on homeowners’ minds as the temperatures continue to drop. Knowing how to winterize your pipes and prevent them from freezing over is incredibly important. Frozen pipes can lead to burst pipes which can lead to major damage and expenses.

So, which pipes would freeze first? Generally speaking, the following pipes will freeze first:

  • Pipes that are outside
  • Pipes that are in areas of your home that aren’t heated or insulated
  • Pipes that are in your exterior walls

Other pipes in your home have the potential to freeze if the temperature drops, but the ones listed above are the most common culprits.

How to prevent frozen pipes

Thankfully, preventing frozen pipes isn’t too difficult, as long as you follow these simple tips for winterizing your pipes:

  • NEVER turn off the heat – this one is incredibly important. Never turn off the heat when you leave home in the winter. Your home needs to maintain a steady temperature to keep the pipes from freezing over. We recommend keeping the temperature set to at least 55 degrees or higher.
  • Insulate your pipes – particularly in areas where your pipes are on an outside wall, make sure to insulate your pipes so they can keep the warmth in.
  • Use a small space heater – it may also be necessary to invest in a small space heater for areas where you can’t keep your pipes warm, such as a bathroom against an exterior wall.
  • Disconnect garden hoses – you don’t want anything attached to your hose bibbs.
  • Shut off your outdoor water & open hose bibb – this one is probably the most important thing homeowners can do to winterize their pipes. Turn off the external water supply and open the hose bibb to allow water to drip out and for the pipes to expand.
  • Turn off any other outdoor water systems – if you have a sprinkler or other outdoor water system, make sure to shut that off as well. You may need to contact a professional to remove any excess water.

It’s also crucial that you know how to turn off your water. In the event that your pipes do burst, being able to turn off the water can be the difference between a minor leak and a major disaster. Locate the shut-off valve–they are usually in the basement, garage, or another utility area.

What to do if you have frozen pipes

If your pipes freeze over, make sure to turn off the water at the shut-off valve and open all of your faucets to allow water and pressure to be released. Next, call a trusted local plumber like James A. Wheat & Sons. We’ll come out and help you defrost your pipes or repair them in the event that they have become damaged.

Contact us online or by phone at 240-399-5051240-399-5051 to schedule your pipe repair or other plumbing service!