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How to avoid frozen pipes

Dec 24, 2015

Apply electrically powered heat tape; this will ensure protection against frozen pipes in the coldest weather as long as the utilities are on. Apply the tape in a spiral pattern following the manufacturer's recommendations regarding the distance between individual coils.

OKorder How to avoid frozen pipes

Warm the area with a heat lamp if all the pipes are concentrated in one small space.

Use foam rubber or fiberglass insulation (see Tips below) to cover all exposed lengths and joints of the pipe if electrical solutions are inappropriate. (If you've used heat tape you may need to go up one size in fiberglass insulation covering to get a proper fit.)

Secure the sections of insulation with tape as needed.

Prevent drafts of frigid winter air. Secure all crawl space openings or windows and insulate and caulk any cracks in the structure's foundation.

Pipes that lead out of the home can be treated the same way as water pipes, but they are often underground or otherwise inaccessible. In these instances, slowly pour hot water into the drain. Alternatively, snake a piece of rubber tubing into the pipe until it reaches the ice. Boil a kettle of water and attach the end of the tube to the spout. Steam will travel down the tube and slowly melt the ice.

Pipes that are constantly exposed to the elements, such as those beneath mobile homes, are protected by heat tape, which is plugged into an electrical source. If that electrical source goes down, or if the heat tape simply reaches the end of its lifespan, typically three to five years, pipes will freeze. Follow the same steps as with other pipes and replace the heat tape. In an outdoor setting, it is safe to use a heat gun, normally used to remove paint, to thaw pipes.

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