How to Keep PVC Pipes From Freezing & Trapping

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When winter brings freezing temperatures, it pays to take a few precautions to prevent any of PVC pipes you have from freezing. A frozen PVC pipe can not only lead to you temporarily being unable to use the water in your home, they can burst too. This will cause an expensive and time consuming mess. Avoid all that trouble with a few simple procedures that will protect your PVC pipes.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam pipe insulation
  • Electrical heat tape
  • Caulking
  • Weather stripping
  • Install foam pipe insulation around any of the PVC pipes in the crawl spaces and attic of your home. Since these pipes are exposed to open air they will freeze more easily than others. Foam insulation is very easy to install, it simply slips around the pipe, and you tape it in place.

  • Purchase and install electrical heat tape over the PVC pipes. This is also easy to install. Wrap it around the pipe and plug in the end to an electrical outlet. The tape will provide a gentle warmth, just enough to keep the pipes from freezing.

  • Use weather stripping or caulking to seal any open areas that are allowing cold air in.

  • Turn on one of the faucets to a slow trickle, and allow it to drip overnight. The moving water is much less likely to freeze in the pipes.

  • Set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees F when you are away. Open cabinet doors that have PVC pipe inside or nearby, allowing the heat to reach them.

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