One of the scariest things about winter power outages is the possibility of frozen pipes. To be sure, most of us can imagine donning coats and blankets and surviving a power outage that lasts a couple of days when high winds knock down power lines or an ice storm causes the lines to droop and break. But replacing pipes after a freeze can be expensive. Read on for some valuable tips to prevent freezing pipes.

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing

When it’s cold outside but your heating is working, you may need to take extra measures to prevent pipes from freezing. Sometimes heat just does not get to the places it needs to go to prevent frozen pipes. You can help prevent frozen pipes by doing the following.

  1. Open up cabinets that are located in exterior walls where pipes are located. The open doors will help heat circulate inside the cabinets.
  2. Do not set the thermostat below 55 degrees during cold spells.
  3. Add insulation around pipes that might freeze, such as those underneath the kitchen sink or in a basement, garage, or attic. You can also protect them with heat tape. 
  4. Turn on water to flow through the faucet that is farthest from your main valve. Flowing water will keep the pipes from freezing. 
  5. Before freezing weather arrives, drain water from outside lines and turn off spigots. Disconnect garden hoses and put them away. Use faucet covers to keep faucets from freezing. 
  6. Seal air leaks from exterior walls, including holes for pipes, cables, and wires underneath cabinets. Use weatherstripping or insulation. Check around baseboards, windows and doors; install weatherstripping and caulk. Electric plugs may also leak cold air, so install foam gaskets to prevent air leaks. 

If Pipes Freeze

If you turn on the water and only a trickle of water (or, worse, nothing at all) comes through, the pipes are likely frozen. Leave the spigot open to melt the ice. Use a space heater or a blow-dryer to gradually melt the ice. 

For more on frozen pipes, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving Indianapolis and the surrounding area.