Temperatures drop and weather can be brutal during winter months with frigid conditions that can cause frozen pipes. Flooding and water damage can occur if a pipe bursts.

When is it cold enough for pipes to freeze and how can you keep your pipes warm?

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety “Field tests of residential water systems subjected to winter temperatures demonstrated that for un- insulated pipes located in unconditioned attics, freezing occurred if the outside temperature fell below 20 degrees.” This institute also found that un-insulated c pipes exposed to outside cold air and wind may freeze above 20 degrees.

Make sure your pipes do not freeze by doing the following:

  1. Keep heat on at 50 degrees or above.
  2. Seal cracks and holes by both interior and exterior walls so cold air cannot get in. Seal around dryer vents, electrical wiring, under sink if by exterior wall, windows and doors.
  3. Wrap pipes with insulation. You can also use heat tape and thermostatically controlled heat cables.
  4. Use shut-off valve to drain water leading up to outside spigots: disconnect garden hose and store
  5. Keep a faucet slightly dripping to keep water flowing and help alleviate pressure if pipes do freeze.

If you go out of town for an extended period of time, consider draining water system. There is nothing to freeze if there is no water in pipes.

Finally, know where your main water shut off valve is located in case pipes do freeze.