- A Clueless Texan’s Guide To Protecting Your Pipes During A Freeze
- 1. Open Your Cabinets To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
- 2. Turn On Your Faucet To Allow A Slow Drip To Stop Your Pipes From Freezing
- 3. Disconnect Your Outside Water Hoses
- 4. Insulate Your Faucets And Pipes Outside
A Clueless Texan’s Guide To Protecting Your Pipes During A Freeze
In this guide, I am going to show you how to protect your pipes during a winter freeze.
If you were born and raised in Texas you likely lack the knowledge of how to winterize. If this is you do not feel bad, because you are not alone!
Below is a screenshot from a Youtube video where a Chicago Water Management Commissioner explains how to protect your pipes. As you can see from the comments there are plenty of fellow Texas who are unaware of how to protect their pipes!
Today I will explain 3 ways to protect your pipes during a winter freeze. These steps are extremely easy to follow, even if you have limited experience dealing with colder weather.
1. Open Your Cabinets To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
The first thing you can do to protect your pipes during cold weather is to open your cabinets to expose piping.
Opening your kitchen and bathroom cabinets helps because the heat from inside your home can prevent your pipes from freezing. This is a very easy way to prevent your pipes from freezing that anyone can do.
2. Turn On Your Faucet To Allow A Slow Drip To Stop Your Pipes From Freezing
The next step you can take is to turn on your faucets to allow a slow drip.
The slow drip allows water to constantly flow through your pipes and this can help to prevent your pipes from freezing. Running water inside your plumbing makes it more difficult for pipes to freeze, so keep your pipes running during very cold weather.
In the video below Randy Conner, who is a Chicago Water Management Commission shows how to slow drip your water to avoid pipes from freezing. If this tactic works in Chicago, it has to be effective here in Texas where temperatures are not nearly as cold!
While it is true that a slow drip can waste about 7 to 10 gallons of water per day and increase your monthly water bill, Randy Conner offers a good point in that “the pennies that you pay to keep the water moving is minimal to what you will pay if the pipes burst”.
3. Disconnect Your Outside Water Hoses
Disconnecting your outside water hose can also protect your pipes from freezing.
Water that is left inside an outdoor water hose can freeze, expand, and cause the faucets that are connected to break.
4. Insulate Your Faucets And Pipes Outside
Insulating your outdoor faucets and pipes is very important during cold weather.
Here are a few ways to insulate your outdoor pipes:
- Use A Faucet Cover
- Insulate Your Pipes With Foam
- Use A Towel And Duct tape
Here are step by step instructions on protecting your outdoor pipes during a winter freeze.
Use A Faucet Covers To Prevent Pipes From Freezing
A faucet cover is a styrofoam cone that goes around your outdoor faucets. A properly installed faucet cover will help to stop your pipes from freezing during cold weather.
Faucet covers are extremely cheap (less than $9 for 2 on Amazon) and easy to install. The video below shows you how to insulate outdoor piping with a faucet cover.
The faucet cover will only work for faucets or spigots that extend outside of your home. To protect your main water supply line during the winter you can use foam pipe insulation.
Protect Your Plumbing With Pipe Insulation Foam
To wrap an incoming water line you can use something called “pipe insulation foam“. This material is also cheap and easy to install.
Use A Towel And Duct Tape To Wrap Outdoor Pipes During The Winter
Lastly, if you do not have a faucet cover or pipe insulation foam, you can use a towel and duct tape to wrap your outdoor pipes.
Check out the video below by a Youtuber named Juani as she explains how to wrap a pipe with anything but a towel and plastic bags.
Freezes rarely occur in Texas, however, when they do you can take these very simple steps to protect your pipes during a winter freeze.
Now that you know a few ways to prevent your pipes from freezing, what steps will you take?
Do you know of other ways to protect your pipes during the winter? If so share them in the comments so that other Texans can avoid costly repairs!
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Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 11 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, walks with the doggo and wife, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans, and sharing community resources. Jump on the Houston Case Managers email list to receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.