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Prevent Frozen Water Pipes
With winter temperatures progressively getting lower, the risk of freezing pipes becomes more prevalent. The Village of Algonquin would like to remind you of preventative measures that should be taken to ensure your home’s plumbing doesn’t burst. The four most common problem areas that create a risk for bursting due to freezing temperatures are:
- Basement Windows: Air that leaks in from your windows or into your basement through the foundation
- Unheated Areas: Any pipes in unheated locations of your house such as an attic, garage or crawl space
- Exterior Walls: Areas in your home where piping is located near an exterior wall
- Cupboards: Pipes under kitchen sinks or cupboards
Signs of Freezing Pipes
There are three signs that your pipes may be on the point of freezing. The first sign of possibly freezing pipes is if your running water feels unusually cold. Second, pay attention to the water flow and pressure at any fixture. If the water pressure seems low or the flow sputters, your pipes may be experiencing freezing. Finally, feel the pipes. If the piping feels frigid, this too may be indicating the possibility of freezing pipes. Now that you know some warning signs, we will now provide you some preventative measures to try to protect yourself from water damage.
The first preventative measure to against freezing pipes is insulation. Insulating and ensuring your pipes remain above freezing temperatures is key to preventing your pipes from freezing. Some actions you can consider taking are: covering outside faucets and exposed pipes with insulating foam covers (don’t forget sink and washing machine pipes) and use thermostatically controlled heat tape or electrical heating cable on pipes that are unheated.
The second preventative measure is to make sure your home stays above freezing. To do this, keep your furnace set to no lower than 55° F. This will help keep the internal pipes from freezing, especially if you head south for the winter.
Preventative maintenance is essential. The costs associated with frozen pipes ranges from several thousands of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. To prevent this from happening to you, keep track of the problem sites, know the signs of trouble, and take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing.