Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter

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close up of a hand placing insulating foam on an outdoor pipe.

Frozen pipes are a pain at best, a major expense and stressor at worst. Prevent your pipes from freezing this winter with these simple steps.


Insulate Your Pipes

Insulate any exposed pipes, particularly those located outdoors or in unheated areas (like garages), before winter hits. There are a number of different effective insulation options, such as insulating tape that you can wrap around a pipe or insulating foam. Check your local home improvement store for pipe insulation materials.


Let it Drip

If you’re expecting a particularly bad cold snap overnight, one thing you can do to prevent pipes from freezing is to leave your faucet on a tiny bit. Before going to bed for the night, turn your faucets on just enough to drip a little and leave them overnight. The small amount of water flowing through your pipes will prevent freezing and save you a headache in the morning.


Seal Cracks & Openings

Seal any cracks, openings, and crawl spaces around your home to prevent cold air from coming inside. This keeps your pipes–not to mention your home–warmer and less susceptible to issues caused by freezing temperatures.


Open the Cabinets

During winter cold snaps, periodically open up the cabinet doors underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks in order to circulate warm air from your living space into the cabinets and warm up the piping.


How Do I Know if My Pipes are Frozen?

While the above tips are a great way to prevent your pipes from freezing, sometimes it happens. Not sure whether that is what’s causing your issue or not? Here are some signs that your pipes are frozen.

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If your pipes are exposed, check for visible frost on the outside of them. If you can see frost on the outside, you’ve probably got some freezing on the inside.

No Flow

If you suddenly have very little or no water flowing from your pipes during a cold snap, that’s a good indicator of a frozen pipe. If there is an ice blockage inside a pipe, it will restrict water flow and often causes a loss of running water altogether.

Strange Odours

This is a bit of an unexpected one. A frozen pipe often causes a funny-smelling drain because if there is an ice blockage, the gunk and debris that normally flows quickly through your pipes gets stuck and any smells emanating will head back out through the unblocked path and up the drain. Yuck!

We hope these tips help you avoid any messy plumbing emergencies this winter, but if one occurs, we’re here for you! Call our trusted plumbers anytime.

Call a Plumber: 1-587-200-7564


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Butler Plumbing Heating & Gasfitting Ltd.