Water pipes will begin to freeze once temperatures have reached 20 degrees or below but to freeze they will of needed to exposed to those temperatures for at least a total of six consecutive hours. When pipes are not insulated very well or they aren't being used, and have no heating source, the water in the pipes will begin to freeze. If you leave pipes to freeze, it is more than likely that after An extended period of time they will begin to crack and inevitably burst.
Insulate Your Pipes and Your Water Tanks
Wrap your pipes in the colder areas of your home with insulation covers and insulate your water tanks especially in colder places. 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.
Open Cabinet doors and Loft Hatches
You should allow warm air to circulate around pipes under sinks or up in the attic. Allowing warm air to circulate will help prevent the pipes from freezing
Run Your Taps
It is harder for water to freeze if you taps are running, so if you turn your taps on and off regularly it will make the pipes harder to freeze up. Or you can simply let your taps trickle, so water is always passing through the pipes. If you are on a water meter, make sure you keep an eye on your usage if you do decide to do this though as it can add extra cost to your water bill.
Drain Your Water System
If you know you won’t be home for a while you can always simply drain your water system
There is believe it or not a product called heat tape that can be installed and will warm up your pipes if needed during the colder weather.
Seal up any drafts you may have in your home that will allow cold air in to where your pipes are located. Look for drafts around things like electrical wiring, dryer vents, and of course pipes. You can use caulk or insulation to keep the drafts out. With severe cold temperatures, even the tiniest of openings can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
Keep Your Garage Door Closed
One way to stop your pipes from freezing is to keep your garage door closed, especially if water supply lines go through the garage — most often, garages feature high amounts of smooth concrete, which can keep it very cold. A garage door accidentally left open can leave any water pipes exposed to freezing temperatures.
Signs That Your Pipes Are About To Freeze Up
- Always check to see if any frost has developed on the surface of exposed pipes. If it has, there is a good chance your pipe is frozen.
- Strange smells: Strange smells and odours coming up from a drain or from a faucet could indicate a frozen pipe
- No water: The most obvious sign that a pipe may have frozen is of course a lack of running water. If you turn on a faucet and you get no running water or just a simple trickle than this more than likely indicates that your pipes are indeed frozen.