Winter time in 2014 has been a harsh one so far. Across the country, temperatures are sub zero, and pipes are prone to bursting under these conditions. Pipes burst when the water inside freezes and expands the pipe. Even the best tankless water heater needs some special care when the temperatures drop, so be sure that you read on for tips to avoid freezing your pipes this winter.
Insulate pipes that are running along the walls in your laundry room. Check your laundry tubs, behind the machine and beneath the stairs in your basement. These pipes are typically touching a wall that is not insulated, and are prone to freezing unless you put some insulation around them.
Turn on your water faucets to get water flowing through your pipes. Moving water won’t freeze as rapidly, so be sure to open faucets about one-quarter of the way to relieve pressure from ice in the pipes.
If you happen to have a prolonged power outage, be sure to use the shut off valve to turn the water off in your home. Once the main is off, run your faucets until there is no more water coming out. Once you’ve drained the water in your pipes, you’re good to wait for power to be restored. In the event that a pipe does burst, you should go and shut off the valve to stop the water from causing additional damage.
You should drain your water heater to avoid damaging it during extreme cold temperatures. Look for two valves above your water heater, one for cold and one for hot water. At the base of the heater, you will find the spout where the water drains. Drain the water and it should drift toward a drain in the ground of your basement. If you need to drain water heaters in Los Angeles, use a bucket as most heaters are not stored in basements and do not have easy access to a drain.
Cottages and mobile homes may also want to drain the water from the home when heaters are not in use. If there is a power outage, your water heater won’t be able to heat the standing water it is holding and may freeze over.
If your pipes are already frozen, seek help from a professional. Call a plumber if you find that your home has power but you suspect there is water damage. Definitely do not try to heat pipes on your own, as this can cause unintended consequences.