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Avoiding Frozen Pipes in the Winter

Updated on December 25, 2013

When the beauty of winter snow is no longer a novelty and the ice crystals on the windshield stretches to the pipes in your home, winter can quickly become a hardship to overcome. After all, nobody wants to wake up in the morning to no water in the pipes where it belongs to frozen or leaking pipes that cause damage and incur a significant charge to repair! Whether it means one will be paying a plumber or spending a day making repairs yourself, there is nothing pleasurable about dealing with frozen or burst water pipes!

However, by taking some proactive steps, you can generally avoid dealing with frozen water pipes. If you live in a region where snowfall and freezing temperatures are more common, it might not seem as important to protect your pipes, as the homes are actually built with the water pipes located on the inside of the building, but for those who live in southern regions, the cold of winter can often cause significant plumbing issues. (By the way, did you know that studies have shown that plumbing systems can withstand freezing temperatures as low as 22 degrees?) So, before the freezing weather of winter wreaks havoc on your home’s plumbing system, invest some time making these improvements.

  1. Inspect your home’s foundation for any holes or cracks –especially those areas near the plumbing. If you find any, et out the caulk gun seal them so that no air can seep in. If the spaces are too large to caulking alone, you can add more insulation to seal the space tightly. Essentially, you are creating winter coat for the pipes, so be sure they are warm and well protected! Pipes freeze because they are cold! You can usually find the insulating related items at your local hardware or home improvement store. Also, plumbing stores carry specialty items, such as foam sleeves for pipes that designed specifically for protecting the pipes.
  2. Don’t assume cracks and fissures are only on the outside. Spend some time ensuring there are no places in the kitchen and bath where cold air can enter. Should you discover some, be sure to caulk those as well.
  3. Keep the cabinet doors below the sinks open, so that warm air can circulate. There are specialty items available at home improvement stores, designed to help with this, just be sure to read (and follow!) the instructions.
  4. While it may seem somewhat non-environmentally friendly, leave a faucet dripping when you go to bed. The small steady drip can be very slight, but it will release pressure on your pipes. Be sure to turn on both hot and cold water, as both can freeze! That little trickle of water is well worth preventing frozen pipes!

Frozen pipes are not something one wants to deal with as part of the winter. Taking the time to prevent your pipes from freezing is time well spent. If you have other questions about preventing frozen pipes during the winter, talk to a professional plumber.

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of avoiding frozen pipes in the winter. One such site worth visiting is

Janet Slagell independently authors articles for, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.


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