To ensure proper distribution of water in your home, your piping system needs to be working well. But for those people living in the cold climates or during the winter season frozen pipes is a major challenge. This affects the distribution of water, both cold and hot in their homes.
If you are one of those people, you need to find a way to prevent your pipes from freezing, and this is not just about the water supply in your home. The truth is, water is necessary for survival but can also be very destructive. This is because it expands under both high and low temperatures. So, during cold weather, the water expansion can cause your pipes to burst and damage your property.
To avoid all these from happening, you need to find a way to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Below is a list of things you should do to keep your pipes safe during freezing weather.
1. Insulate Your Pipes
Insulation is one of the best and most effective ways to prevent your pipes from freezing. The insulation material acts as a buffer between the water and the cold air.
There are two types of pipe insulation. These are pipe lining and pipe cladding.
Pipelining involves the use of a non-metallic material to form a mechanical bond between the lining material and the pipe. The most common types of materials are glass, rubber, PTFE, and Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP).
Pipe cladding, on the other hand, involves the use of a metallic material, forming a metallurgical bond between the pipe and the cladding material.
Regardless of the method you use, insulating your pipes will ensure:
- Pipe freeze protection
- Condensation control
- Noise control
- Low consumption of energy
2. Drain Your Taps
When the water inside your pipes freezes, that’s when your pipes freeze. So, without water in the pipes, there is nothing to freeze. It only takes a few minutes to drain the taps and prevent your pipes from freezing. All you need to do is close the main water supply, to prevent water from flowing in, and then open your taps to drain all the water from the pipes. Draining your taps will keep your pipes safe from damage during cold weather.
3. Add slope
It's more likely for slow-moving water to freeze than it is for water that's flowing fast. If it is possible, slant the pipes downwards to increase the momentum of the water. This applies to the condensate drain line too. High momentum will ensure the fast draining of water inside the pipes, lowering the chances of it freezing.
4. Consider Heating Your Pipes
Another way to beat the cold is by directly heating your pipes. Use heating tapes or cables to keep the water warm and prevent your pipes from freezing. Focus more on the sections of the pipe that are more vulnerable to the cold and keep monitoring the tapes for problems.
Heating tapes can either be manual or automatic. An automated heating tape will turn on and off by itself. Once installed, you do not need to operate it.
A manual heating tape, on the other hand, will only work if operated. You will need to plug it in and turn it on or off when you need to.
Please note that heating tapes are very dangerous. You need to follow the instructions to the latter to avoid any accidents.
5. Shorten Your Condensate Line
Longer pipes extending to the outside allow more time for the water in your pipes to freeze. You can fix this by shortening the pipe. If your condensate line is already frozen, cut off the frozen part. This will leave the biggest part inside your house, where it's warm. To ensure that the water drains before freezing, cut the condensate line closer to the house. However, don’t let the water to drip too close to your house. Continuous dripping of water will allow the growth of algae and molds. Make sure you leave some distance between the dripping water and your house.
6. Fix the Holes and Cracks
Cracks and holes, especially on areas where the pipes pass, will only expose the pipe to the cold. This will increase the chances of your pipes freezing. To prevent this from happening, make sure you fix all the holes on your floor and walls. Use the spray foam or caulk to seal the gaps on both sides of the floor or wall.
The majority of people do not understand the importance of protecting their pipes during freezing weather. In the end, they spend huge amounts of money repairing or replacing the damaged pipes.
Don't wait for this to happen. Prepare your piping system to withstand the cold weather, and avoid these unnecessary costs.
You cannot change the weather. But you can change how it impacts you.