How To Prevent Pipes From Freezing - MyGuy Plumbing (2023)

You know the feeling. You’re sitting on the couch in front of the fire, enjoying a piping-hot cup of cocoa and reading a good book. Suddenly, you realize that the temperature has dropped outside, and it’s getting pretty cold.

You run to the window and see your pipes are frozen solid! What do you do?

How To Prevent Pipes From Freezing - MyGuy Plumbing (1)

Well, Freezing pipes are no joke. They can cause thousands of dollars in damages, and it’s important to take precautions before the temperature drops below freezing.

While thawing pipes is possible, it’s much better to prevent them from freezing in the first place. In this article, we’ll provide tips on how to prevent pipes from freezing and why it’s important to back up your plumbing with service agreements from a professionalToms River plumber.

Thaw Might Not be Enough

Frozen pipes can be a real pain to deal with. The best way to avoid them is to thaw pipes. But if your pipes do freeze and you’re faced with the decision of whether or not to thaw them out, there are some things you should know.

First, don’t let the frozen pipe sit there for too long. If it’s been frozen for more than 24 hours, there’s no reason to try to thaw it out. You might damage the pipe by trying—it’s better just to call a plumber and have him take care of it.

Second, make sure you’re only using methods that are approved for thawing out frozen pipes. This includes running hot water into the pipe from a faucet or using heat lamps or steamers (not open flames). If you use an open flame near a frozen pipe, there’s a good chance it will crack! And that could lead to flooding and other problems down the road.

Lastly, frozen pipes can cause a lack of water pressure or no water at all. That’s why it’s essential to take steps to prevent pipes from freezing before anything else.

What are the Temporary Steps to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Winter is coming, and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to protect your home from the cold. One of the most crucial things to consider when winterizing your home is your plumbing. If there are frozen pipes, how to keep pipes from freezing?

Frozen pipes can cause damage that can be costly to repair. Luckily, you can take some temporary steps to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter. Here are a few tips on how to take care of pipes in winter:

Open the faucets

This may seem counterintuitive, but if you open the faucets in your home, it helps keep the water moving through the pipes. This will help prevent them from freezing.

Use a space heater

If your pipes are exposed to cold air, use a space heater to warm them up. This will help keep them from freezing as well.

Wrap the Pipes

If you wrap your exposed pipes with insulation or a towel, it will help keep them warm and protected from freezing temperatures outside. However, do not cover any electrical outlets or switches with this insulation because they could get too hot!

Apply Heat Tape

You can buy heat tape at most hardware stores that will wrap around exposed pipes in your home to prevent them from freezing during cold weather months. Wrap this around all exposed pipes where there is no insulation on top of them so that all areas are protected from freezing temperatures outside!

Use a hairdryer

If all else fails, you can use a hairdryer on low heat, setting it directly against your pipes for several minutes at a time until they thaw out completely.

Remember, these steps are temporary and should not be used as a long-term solution for Toms River, NJ, and surrounding areas. Once the weather improves, take steps to properly insulate your pipes using an effective insulation material such as foam.

Tips on How To Prevent Pipes From Freezing

Freezing pipes and repiping in Toms River can be a huge problem, especially if they are not properly insulated. If your home has been experiencing freezing temperatures, taking some permanent steps to prevent damage to your pipes is important.

Here are a few tips to prevent pipes from freezing

Insulate Pipes: The most effective approach to keeping pipes from freezing is to insulate them. Insulating the pipes keeps the heat inside and keeps the cold out. To insulate pipes in unheated locations such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages, you can use foam pipe insulation, fiberglass insulation, or heat tape.

Seal Cracks and Holes: Tiny cracks and holes in your home’s walls or foundation can let cold air in and cause pipes to freeze. Seal these holes with caulking, spray foam insulation, or weather stripping to keep cold air out of your home.

Maintain Heat: Throughout the winter, keep your home at a steady temperature. This will prevent cold patches from forming, which can cause pipes to freeze. Use a programmed thermostat to keep the temperature steady even while you’re not at home.

Allow Faucets to Drip: Letting faucets drip helps alleviate pressure in pipes and keep them from exploding. It also keeps the water flowing through the pipes, which stops them from freezing. A little drop is all that is required to keep the water flowing.

Open cabinet doors: Keep cabinet doors open during cold weather if your home has pipes running through the cabinets. This circulates warm air around the pipes, keeping them from freezing.

What to do if pipes still freeze?

If you’ve tried everything and your pipes still freeze, don’t worry! Here are a few tips to help you out:

  1. Turn off the water supply to the affected pipe(s) and let it drain. If there’s an exposed pipe, wrap it in insulation or plastic to prevent further damage.
  2. If possible, leave a trickle of water flowing through the pipe until it warms up again (as long as this doesn’t cause more damage). Then turn on the water supply and check for leaks.
  3. Check for other sources of heat in your home—such as radiators, space heaters, etc.—and direct them toward the frozen pipes until they’re thawed out.
  4. Back up your plumbing with service agreements from plumbing companies near you.

Why You Need Service Agreements from Plumbing Companies Near You

How To Prevent Pipes From Freezing - MyGuy Plumbing (2)

Do you know what’s great about your plumbing? It keeps your whole house running smoothly, and you don’t have to worry about it. Right?

Yeah, well, no, actually. You should probably be worried about it because things happen. Despite taking precautions, sometimes pipes can still freeze. This is where service agreements from plumbing companies near you come in handy.

Service agreements provide regular maintenance to your plumbing system, catching problems before they become emergencies. They also provide priority service in emergencies, ensuring that your plumbing problems are taken care of quickly and efficiently.

Plumbing companies like MyGuy Plumbing offer service agreements that include inspections, cleaning, and repair work. Our service agreements are designed specifically for proactive homeowners in Toms River, NJ, and surrounding areas who want peace of mind when it comes to their plumbing systems. We know how much of a hassle it can be to deal with plumbing issues, and we want to help ensure you never have to worry about having an issue again.

With MyGuy Plumbing’s service agreement in place, you can rest assured that your plumbing is taken care of and that you won’t be caught off guard by a frozen or burst pipe.

Our plumbing service plans include the following tasks:

-Checking for leaks, clogs, and other issues

-Patching up holes in walls and floors

-Cleaning the inside of your pipes and drains

-Unclog the tub/shower drain

– and many more!

Winter is coming, but you don’t have to let the cold snap freeze your pipes.

Take precautions before the temperature drops, and contact us today at (732) 492-3968 to learn more about our Plumbing Service Agreement and to sign up for an annual plan.

FAQs

How do I stop my water pipes from freezing? ›

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Can you insulate pipes so they don't freeze? ›

Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces, attic, and garage. These exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. The more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes are. Wrap pipes with heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables.

How do I keep my pipes from freezing under my mobile home? ›

To prevent pipes from freezing, it is necessary to apply what's called heat tape. This tape wraps around your water pipes and plugs into your electrical supply. You then put insulation around the heat tape. Heat tape is set up to automatically turn on when the temperature hits 40 degrees.

What is the minimum temperature to keep pipes from freezing? ›

Temperatures only need to drop to about 20° F for a few hours to put exposed pipes at risk. So, your best bet is to insulate your exposed pipes to keep that temperature well above the freezing point.

Can pipes freeze in one night? ›

Pipes can freeze in as little as six to eight hours, meaning they can freeze overnight. If the outside temperature is below 32 degrees F and your pipes are unprotected, your chances for a frozen pipe increase.

How long can a house go without heat before pipes freeze? ›

The rule of the thumb is that it takes roughly 6-hours for water in your pipe to freeze after left in an unheated area. Meaning if you lose power at your home and the weather is reaching below freezing point, you have approximately 6-hours until the pipes will begin to freeze.

What is the best insulation to prevent pipes from freezing? ›

For many residential plumbing applications a PE pipe insulation product like Tubolit® and Tundra® is the perfect option. Economical and easy to install, PE foam insulation will prevent pipes from freezing and keep hot pipes hot and cold pipes cold.

Can you insulate hot and cold pipes together? ›

Fiberglass insulation, combined with a special plastic or foil wrapping to keep it in place, can be used to insulate both hot and cold water pipes. Wrap the fiberglass insulation around the pipe and tape it down with acrylic/duct tape.

Can you wrap your pipes with towels? ›

Wrap pipes.

If your pipes are already on their merry way towards freezing, wrapping them with warm towels might do the trick. You can cover them with the towels first and then pour boiling water on top, or use already-wet towels — if your hands can stand the heat (use gloves for this).

At what temperature do pipes freeze under a mobile home? ›

Keeping your home warm is not just about your comfort. Remember, if the outside temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it will only take around six consecutive hours for your pipes to freeze and possibly burst.

Will pipes under a mobile home freeze? ›

Unfortunately, mobile homes are very prone to pipes freezing because they are smaller and have thinner materials making up their walls and foundation. The process of making sure your mobile home stays protected is different than in a stationary home, as well.

Do I need to call a plumber if my pipes freeze? ›

Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes.

Most times, this is a better idea if you don't think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself, you don't know where the frozen pipes are or you can't access the frozen area.

Is 55 too cold for a house? ›

Be careful not to decrease your home's temperature to less than 55 degrees in winter or allow your home to warm to more than 80 degrees in summer, as it may leave your home susceptible to damage. An indoor temperature of less than 55 degrees may lead to freezing pipes, while anything more than 80 may damage drywall.

Is 62 degrees cold for a house? ›

What Temperature Is Too Cold For A House? The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends indoor temperatures of at least 64°F (you can drop that down to 62°F at night if you're really looking to save on your heating bill).

Is 72 too high for thermostat in winter? ›

The lower the temperature is inside of the home, the slower the rate of thermal energy loss. To achieve optimal comfort, it is recommended for homeowners to set their thermostats between 68 to 72 degrees while there are people inside of the home.

Should I leave heating on all night in freezing weather? ›

Remember, the higher the thermostat, the more fuel you use. If you have central heating and you are away in cold weather, leave the heating on continuously with the thermostat set to low to stop your pipes freezing.

What temperature should I keep my house in winter so pipes don't freeze? ›

Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius). Also be sure to replace the battery in your thermostat. Ask for help. Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it's warm enough to prevent freezing.

How long does it take for pipes to freeze in a house? ›

As a general rule of thumb, for your home's water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees, for a total of at least six consecutive hours.

Will pipes freeze if water is turned off? ›

To prevent pipes from freezing, the best thing to do is turn your water off if you can locate your valve. If not, leaving your faucets on with a slight trickle - not a drip - to prevent broken pipes, he says.

What is a good insulator for pipes? ›

For electric water heaters, pipe sleeves made with polyethylene or neoprene foam are the most commonly used insulation.

Will pipes freeze in an insulated wall? ›

While insulated pipes are better than pipes with no protection, they're not the best solution to achieve full frost prevention during the winter months. In fact, pipes in unheated areas such as basements, garages and attics are still at risk of cracks and bursts even with proper pipe insulation.

What foam stop pipes from freezing? ›

Insulating these spaces with spray foam insulation is a highly effective, long-term solution to preventing frozen pipes. Spray foam insulation: Helps to maintain a warmer temperature in your home by keeping the warm air inside during the winter, which also warms your water pipes.

Is rubber or foam pipe insulation better? ›

A safe conclusion when comparing rubber versus foam plastic pipe insulation is that rubber is the better choice for commercial and industrial applications due to its lower thermal conductivity, higher continuous operating temperature, and more predictable fire behavior.

Should you lag all pipes? ›

When it comes to lagging, lagging both your hot and your cold-water pipes and the tanks around your home is an important way of saving energy and in time money for your home. Lagging hot water pipes will keep your hot water much hotter, which in turn allows you to run your water heater at a lower temperature.

What should I wrap my pipes in? ›

Use a “pipe sleeve” or similar insulating material on exposed water pipes. Newspapers can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even one-fourth inch of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.

Do I leave my outside faucets open during winter? ›

Replace the cap and close the outside faucet. If you don't have a bleeder cap, you can leave your outdoor faucet turned to the 'on' position to prevent a buildup of pressure in the pipes if standing water does freeze.

Will bubble wrap keep pipes from freezing? ›

Protect faucets, outdoor pipes, and pipes in unheated areas with pipe insulation. In a pinch, wrapping them with rags, newspapers, trash bags, plastic foam or even bubble wrap can add needed protection.

Will pipes freeze if house is set to 62 degrees? ›

ANSWER: Anywhere from 55-62 degrees will keep your pipes from freezing while cutting your heating bill dramatically.

How do I know if my pipes are at risk for freezing? ›

What Are the Signs?
  1. A bulge or crack in a pipe with ice seeping out is a clear indication of a burst pipe.
  2. Frost on the outside of a pipe.
  3. A foul smell from the drain or faucet is a less-obvious warning sign. ...
  4. No water or a slow trickle when a faucet is used.
Feb 1, 2022

How long does it take pipes to freeze at 32 degrees? ›

With this in mind, expect most pipes to freeze within six to eight hours. Uninsulated exterior pipes can freeze in under six hours if the temperature is below 20 degrees. It takes at least 12 hours for unprotected pipes to freeze at 32 degrees.

Where do pipes usually freeze in a mobile home? ›

Frozen pipes are unfortunately a very common issue with mobile homes. If you're learning how to do this for the first time, just know it most certainly won't be the last. Mobile home pipes are especially susceptible to freezing as they're located under the home where the air is colder and damp.

Will pouring hot water down a drain unfreeze it? ›

Never pour hot water on frozen plumbing or try to thaw pipes with a blowtorch. The hot water usually freezes on the outside of the pipe, and the torch can cause frozen pipes to explode if steam is produced. Also, do not strike pipes in an attempt to break up the ice, as hammer blows can cause pipes to crack.

How do I keep my mobile home warm in the winter? ›

How to Keep a Mobile Home Warm During Winter
  1. Improve Your Insulation. ...
  2. Weatherproof the Windows. ...
  3. Use Thermal Curtains for Windows. ...
  4. Use a Central Heating System. ...
  5. Include a Fireplace for Class and Warmth. ...
  6. Use Draft Stoppers. ...
  7. Use Area Rugs. ...
  8. Place the Radiator in a Strategic Spot.
Sep 23, 2021

Why do hot water pipes freeze first? ›

If the water is initially hot, cooled water at the bottom is denser than the hot water at the top, so no convection will occur and the bottom part will start freezing while the top is still warm. This effect, combined with the evaporation effect, may make hot water freeze faster than cold water in some cases.

How do plumbers unfreeze pipes? ›

If the pipes have frozen and burst, a plumber can fix them. If the pipes are frozen but have not burst, a plumber can remedy them by applying a heat gun to thaw them. For an interim solution, a homeowner could use a hair dryer to start the thawing process.

How do plumbers find frozen pipes? ›

Locating the Frozen Pipe

Water expands when it freezes, and the force it exerts is often strong enough to make a pipe bulge noticeably. Visually, a frozen pipe may also have a layer of condensation or even small cracks on its surface. If you notice any of these signs, you have likely identified your frozen pipe.

How cold is unhealthy in a house? ›

According to the World Health Organization, it is dangerous to live for a prolonged period of time in a home under 64 degrees. The uncomfortable truth is that cold indoor temperatures can have a significant impact on our health, and could lead to serious, if not fatal health complications over time.

How cold should my house be at night? ›

The best room temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This may vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 20 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep.

How cold is too cold to sleep in your house? ›

Blood vessels become constricted, breathing becomes shallow and it puts extra pressure on our cardiovascular system to get our body temperatures regulated again, she adds. If your bedroom temperature is lower than 60° F, it's too cold.

What is the coldest a house should be? ›

Recommended Temperature When You Are Home

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends setting your thermostat no lower than 64 degrees (F) in the Winter months while people are in the home. If there are infants or elderly individuals, they recommend keeping the temperature at 70 degrees at a minimum.

What is the cheapest way to heat the house? ›

Cheapest ways to heat your home
  1. How to cut the cost of running an indoor heater. Radflek radiator reflector foil sheets are one easiest and most cost-effective ways to save energy in your home. ...
  2. Far Infrared Heaters. ...
  3. Conventional heaters. ...
  4. Ceramic Heaters. ...
  5. Oil-Filled Heaters. ...
  6. Fan Heaters. ...
  7. Convector Heaters. ...
  8. Panel Heaters.

Is it OK to leave a house unheated in the winter? ›

While you will want to save money on utilities, you can not leave a house unheated in the winter. Keep your utilities on, and follow these tips before going out of town: Set your thermostat no lower than 55°F before you leave to avoid having your pipe freeze.

Is it cheaper to keep your house at a constant temperature? ›

The startup process for a furnace consumes more energy than simply running the entire time at one set temperature, costing you additional money. To maximize efficiency, it's best to keep your furnace (or AC) at the same consistent temperature for long periods of time.

Why does my house feel cold at 70? ›

Your house could be cold due to an old air filter, a faulty furnace, improper insulation, or leaky ductwork. The simple fixes, like replacing an air filter, are relatively easy to complete. However, if the heater itself needs repairs, it's best to call in a professional to take a look and determine the problem.

What temperature should my heater be at night? ›

Sleep scientists suggest that for optimal sleeping conditions, room temperature should be between 60 and 67°F. That figure is considerably lower than the daytime recommendation, furthering your heating bill savings while also reaping improved sleep. It's a true win-win.

What is a home remedy for frozen water pipes? ›

Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen.

This can be done by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, heating the area with a hair dryer or both. If you lack either of these items, using towels soaked in hot water will help as well.

What is the best insulation to stop pipes from freezing? ›

Use foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. Insulation can help keep the pipes closer to the temperature of the water inside the pipe, but it does not add extra heat to the pipe and unfortunately will not prevent freezing if the pipe is exposed to prolonged freezing temperatures.

What to do if your pipes are almost frozen? ›

Try wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, heating the area with a hair dryer, or both. Towels soaked in hot water will help as well. Apply until water runs normally. If possible, locate the section of pipe that is frozen and thaw it yourself using gentle heat (slowly warm it up).

Should I leave outside taps open in winter? ›

Replace the cap and close the outside faucet. If you don't have a bleeder cap, you can leave your outdoor faucet turned to the 'on' position to prevent a buildup of pressure in the pipes if standing water does freeze.

Can just my hot water pipes freeze? ›

The temperature of icy winter can cause the hot water pipes to freeze or even crack. It is a strange thing that hot water pipes freeze quickly than cold water pipes. By increasing the temperature of your house, you can attempt to unfreeze the frozen pipe.

What do plumbers do to unfreeze pipes? ›

If the pipes have frozen and burst, a plumber can fix them. If the pipes are frozen but have not burst, a plumber can remedy them by applying a heat gun to thaw them. For an interim solution, a homeowner could use a hair dryer to start the thawing process.

How long can pipes stay frozen without bursting? ›

Pipes typically burst when exposed to extremely low temperatures for an extended period of time (anywhere from 1-3 days depending on temperature). This is especially true for pipes located on exterior walls. A frozen pipe is likely to burst when any water or liquid trapped within it freezes and begins to expand.

Does covering outdoor faucets prevent freezing? ›

Faucet covers work by trapping heat that naturally radiates through the interior pipes to the outdoor spigot. The insulated cover prevents this radiated heat from escaping and therefore prevents water in the faucet from freezing, expanding, and rupturing the spigot.

Should I wrap my outside faucets? ›

If you want to minimize the damage, the best way is to cover your outdoor kitchen faucets so you can protect them from frosty temperatures because when the season is cold, water can expand and pipes can rupture badly.

What happens if you don't cover outside faucets for winter? ›

Outdoor faucets are not insulated, which allows cold air to seep into the walls of your home. Leaving your outdoor faucets exposed can result in water freezing in the pipes within your exterior walls.

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