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livingchoice's avatar

How to prevent pipes from freezing?

Asked by livingchoice (538 points ) October 5th, 2011

Hello,

How do I ensure my plumbing pipes doesn’t freeze. My spouse says that we have to keep the heat (oil) running all day but that just seems expensive. We do have a programmable thermostat but won’t be living in the home all the time. Once the cold weather begins to set in how do I ensure my pipes won’t freeze? I live in Wayne County, PA.

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6 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Even if you keep the heat on the pipes can freeze. Depends partly on how the pipes are istalled below your house. I would always have the heat on at some sort of minimal temperature though, maybe 50? I usually keep mine at 60, but 50 might be enough. Times when it really is a significant concern you can leave the water running at a trickle.

JLeslie's avatar

I just found this. it might give you some ideas.

Scooby's avatar

Lag your pipes too, thoroughly……. :-/

livingchoice's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks a lot that link was exactly what I needed!

marinelife's avatar

You need to let the water trickle on the nights it’s expected to freeze. Wrap any outside pipes.

jerv's avatar

Our old place in NH had a crawlspace with some insulation around it that held our water pump and water heater. That little space also had an electric heater hooked to a thermostat in order to prevent the pipes from freezing so long as there was electricity even when it was -20F outside. But the great part is what the thermostat in that space was set for.

40F, as low as it would go.

See, water won’t freeze until it hits 32F. There is no need to keep the house very warm either; we left the main living area’s thermostat set to 50F (as low as that one would go) whenever we went away for a while.

Now, if you won’t be here for a while, do what we did when we moved out a few winters ago; RV antifreeze. You want to make sure it’s the RV stuff though, unless you want to discover the difference between “toxic” and “non-toxic” the hard way.

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