December 11, 2017
Colorado winters can get pretty cold, which means, at one point or another, your pipes will be at risk of freezing. And frozen pipes could mean you’re left without water—and an expensive pipe repair.
To help you avoid all that, we’ll show you how to keep:
- Outside pipes from freezing
- Pipes from freezing when there’s no heat
- Pipes from freezing in a vacant house
Let’s go into more detail about each of these tips...
Tip #1: How to keep outside pipes from freezing
Outdoor pipes are directly exposed to harsh winter weather. Make sure they’re ready for the cold temperatures by following these steps…
- Turn off water at the shut-off valve for each outdoor spigot. Go to each outdoor spigot and faucet and make sure you shut the water off via the water shut off valve. The water shut off valve is usually located indoors. Once you close the shut off valve, open the spigot or faucet to drain any remaining water.
- Disconnect hoses from outdoor spigots. Since you won’t be using your hoses in winter, you can remove, drain and store away your hoses.
- Buy hose bibb covers. A hose bibb cover is made of foam and placed over the spigot to prevent the pipe from freezing.
- Consider covering pipes. You can use heat tape or heat cables to wrap or cover exposed pipes and keep them warm.
Tip #2: How to keep pipes from freezing—without heat
If you’re asking this question, you’ve probably found yourself with a busted furnace or heating system.
But while you’re waiting for your heating system to be repaired, try following these tips to keep your pipes from freezing:
- Open the doors under the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen. This allows warm air to reach piping and prevents them from freezing.
- Close the doors that lead to rooms without plumbing fixtures to direct heat towards pipes.
- Run some hot and cold water to keep water moving through the pipes. Moving water, even cold water, helps prevent pipes from freezing. Plus, opening the faucet relieves the pipe of pressure, which reduces the chance of the pipe bursting if it does freeze. Hot water pipes are usually the first to freeze.
Tip #3: How to keep pipes from freezing in a vacant house
Going on vacation this winter for a long time?
Unfortunately, if you want to keep your pipes from freezing while you’re away from your home, you’ll need to keep the heat ON. But the trick is finding the lowest possible temperature that will save you money on energy bills while still protecting your pipes.
We recommend that you set your thermostat to 50°–55°. That will keep your energy bills low, but it will keep your home warm enough, so your indoor pipes won’t freeze.
Additionally, you should follow these steps:
- Follow the steps to winterize your outdoor pipes outlined in Tip #1.
- Open the doors under the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen to allow warm air to reach pipes.
- Close the doors that lead to rooms without plumbing to keep heated air in rooms with plumbing fixtures.