How to Prevent Freezing Pipes During Changeable Winter Weather

B.R. Shenoy

Power disruptions are possible after large winter storms in Texas when temperatures drop below freezing.

When you lose electricity in your house, the temperature inside will gradually drop. If the electricity is off for a lengthy amount of time, your house may become too chilly, causing your pipes to freeze.

How and Why Pipes Freeze

Frozen pipes are one of the most common plumbing issues during the winter. Pipes can freeze when temps fall below freezing. Frozen pipes may create severe plumbing disasters if left untreated.

Water expands and causes obstructions in your pipes when it freezes. When a blockage becomes substantial enough, water strains to flow through pipes, causing tremendous pressure to build up. It is common for frozen pipes to crack or burst when enough pressure has built up, causing extensive damage to homes.

As Southern climates seldom see temperatures over 32 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes are more likely to be built in areas of the property that are poorly insulated against the cold. Hence, pipes in these regions may be more prone to freezing due to a lack of insulation around the pipes.

Prevent Freezing Pipes

To avoid issues, here are some things you can do to protect pipes in cold weather:

  1. Wrap pipes in insulation or newspapers covered in plastic to prevent freezing.
  2. Inspect the rest of the house for any places where water supply pipes are in unheated regions. Inspect the crawlspace, attic, and garage. In certain regions, both hot and cold water lines should be insulated.
  3. Garden hoses should be disconnected, drained, and stored before the first hard freeze.
  4. Keep the kitchen and bathroom cupboards open to allow warm air into enclosed spaces.
  5. Keep your garage door shut if there are water supply lines there.
  6. If you’re going to be out of town for a lengthy time, set the thermostat to 55 degrees or higher. You may save money while also preventing your system from overworking itself.
  7. If you are away for an extended period, drain the water lines. Begin by closing the water main shutoff valve. Then, switch on the cold water to drain the pipes. While some water may remain in the pipes, it will be in modest quantities, preventing the pipes from freezing and breaking.
  8. Most essential, to prevent pipes from freezing, it is advised that you leave a faucet with the cold water running at a trickle. Turn on a faucet at the other end of your house to keep the water moving. You don’t have to allow a stream of water to run all the time; a drip reduces bursting pipes.

Closing Thoughts

Frozen pipes are an unanticipated winter disaster. They’re destructive and costly for any household, so preparing ahead is the best way to avert damage to your home.

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Houston, TX

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