Prevent frozen pipes
The thermal envelope – the sometimes-murky boundary that divides heated from unheated spaces – is the area in and around your home that is generally responsible for unprotected pipes to freeze. Inside spaces that may be outside the thermal envelope include crawl spaces, attics, garages, basements, and three-season rooms. Pipes that may need your attention, says the plumbing Littleton specialists, are those near or outside the thermal envelope.
Remove hoses from all outside faucets when freezing weather approaches. Shut off the water to the faucet at the shutoff valve inside. Drain the pipe from the shut off to the spout by opening a waste nut on the shutoff and the outside faucet itself.
Imminent danger of freezing
Leave vulnerable lines open to a fast drip if you suspect any of your supply pipes may be in imminent danger of freezing. Even slowly moving water will not freeze. This may not be water and energy efficient (although if you are around, you can collect water in a bucket), but it gives you time to come up with a permanent solution.
Pipes near exterior walls
Permit air to circulate from the heated interior of the house to plumbing near outside walls. This could mean opening the dishwasher door and service panel, sink cabinet doors, and plumbed rooms that aren’t heated directly. WARNING: Inappropriate warming of pipes is a major cause of house fires.
Air leaks near pipes
Seal gaps that can jet cold air onto pipes. Use caulk for small gaps and expanding foam or fiberglass for large gaps. WARNING: Expanding foam expands more than you think it will and cures to an unsightly rust color when exposed to sun.
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