How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Hello everyone. I thought this would be a good time to talk about how to prevent frozen pipes. It is important during the winter to be mindful of warning signs and address any small plumbing issues immediately. Frozen pipes can burst and then you have an even bigger issue. I have broken down a few areas of concern and how to prevent frozen pipes.

Water Lines/Pipes

This mainly pertains to water lines and pipes that are located on exterior walls (ie: kitchen sinks or vanities placed on exterior walls).

  • Keep the thermostat set at 60 degrees or above. I know heating costs can get expensive and people often think, “Why heat a house when no one is there?” Well, restoring your home after the pipes have burst is costly and a hassle. Keeping the thermostat set at 60+ is a really simple way to prevent any issue.

 

  • Check PVC boiler vent outside. If you have a high efficiency boiler, I recommend occasionally checking the PVC vent outside to make sure it is clear of any ice. Ice built up on the vent results in not enough air going out of the vent; causing the boiler to shut down. Warning signs you may have ice buildup include: 1. the room temperature feels significantly colder than the thermostat setting and 2. an icicle hanging from your vent pipe. This recently happened to me. It is a simple fix – just chisel away the ice until the vent is clear.

 

  • Check for frost. It is wise to check the basement walls for any frost or particularly cold areas as this is a good indicator you may have an issue. This tip is mainly for older homes.

 

Drain Pipes

Frozen drain pipes is most common in homes where a room was added above the garage.

  • Check for leaking faucets. Faucets that are leaking or have a slow drip are susceptible to having the drain pipe freeze. The small amount of water can freeze and gradually build up in the drain pipe.  The problem is you won’t know it is frozen until you notice a leak somewhere. So if you do have a leaking faucet, we highly recommend getting it fixed.

 

Boiler Vents

This applies to homes with a high efficiency boiler (in-floor heat).

  • Check outside PVC boiler vent. If you have a high efficiency boiler, I recommend occasionally checking the PVC vent outside to make sure it is clear of any ice. Ice built up on the vent results in not enough air going out of the vent; causing the boiler to shut down. Warning signs you may have ice buildup in the vent include: 1. the room temperature feels significantly colder than the thermostat setting and 2. an icicle hanging from your vent pipe. This recently happened to me. It is a simple fix – just chisel away the ice until the vent is clear.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about how to prevent frozen pipes, feel free to contact us. Or if you have other home maintenance & remodeling projects, we’re happy to help. Email: info@homecheckplus.com, phone number 320-529-4800.

Stay warm!

-Dale Gruber
President of Home Check Plus

 

 

Other Winter Home Remodeling & Maintenance Articles

  • Winter Watch – A guide on things to watch for in your home during these winter months.
  • Winter Projects – Home improvement projects that are great to do in the winter.
  • Ice Dams – What they are and what you should do with them.
  • Winter Home Maintenance Tips – Checklist of things you should be doing this time of year.

Categories : Dale's Remodeling Corner, Home Maintenance Tips