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LuckyGuy's avatar

During this extreme cold snap, are you preparing your house so the pipes don't freeze?

Asked by LuckyGuy (43689points) January 3rd, 2018

I set my thermostat up a degree or two and have opened all the cupboards and cabinets attached to an outside wall of the house.
The cupboards under the sink are open as are the medicine cabinets.
I do not want the water pipes to freeze. Allowing inside air to circulate will help keep the pipes and cabinet contents closer to room temperature.
I also leave nightlights on so I don’t trip over anything.
Are you doing anything special?

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17 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I also moved stored bedding, towels, toilet paper rolls and food items away from the outside wall so there is an air gap. I don’t want any water to condense where they are in direct contact with the wall. That can damage the wall and the food.

flutherother's avatar

I once left my taps running with just a slow steady drip. That small amount of flow seemed to be enough to stop the pipes from freezing.

chyna's avatar

I have heat tape on my pipes coming in the house.

thisismyusername's avatar

We’re expecting a storm tomorrow (suburb north of Boston). Two months ago, we lost power for 4 days, and we seem to lose power quite frequently. But with the cold, I’m concerned that a loss of power wouldn’t be pretty (I don’t have a fireplace).

Any suggestions for reducing change of frozen pipes? It’s a 2-floor house, with a bathroom upstairs. We also have 2 types of heat: steam in most of the house, and hot water in an addition.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Good idea opening the cabinets, thanks. My neighbor is away and I’m watching her place. We were thinking leaving the heat at 50F would be ok. I’m not so sure. My apartment could get the flood if a pipe burst up there. I’m thinking of picking up an infrared thermometer to look for cold spots.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

We run a trickle on the hot water, because we have a Instant gas hot water heater on the outside of the house, All the rest of the pipes are in the crawl space which stays above freezing (even if get to 0 * F) the water-feed into the instant furnace outside is an exposed copper pipe, inside the sheet-metal cover. We had it freeze several years ago when we first moved in, I had to use a heat gun after removing the sheet metal to defrost the pipe.

rojo's avatar

Did not reset the t-stat but it feels colder (probably psychosomatic) did put the covers on the faucets and do open the cabinet at the sink on the outside wall. Put worklights in the temporary greenhouse structures (fabricated of pvc and poly) put up to protect plants.

It is not right that Fla and the rest of the south gets snow and NM does not. It is not looking good for our upcoming ski trip.

rojo's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay we usually set our t-stat to sixty and have a renter that sets hers to 55 but we live in a warm (supposedly) climate here in central Texas.

marinelife's avatar

Every night we drip the faucets and open the bathroom and kitchen cupboards. It has been so cold that we are keeping the interior temp at 62 at night. That’s for the comfort of our dog too, who will not tolerate being under a blanket unlike dogs we’ve had in the past.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Also make sure you prepare you car by taking out stuff that does not belong there.
7 things to not leave in your car in sub-freezing weather

You should have your T-stat set a little higher in case you lose power. Your home will lose about 1 degree per hour. With a higher starting temperature you will have a little more time to get the generator running before it gets cold.

chyna's avatar

@marinelife That’s pretty cold for me! I leave mine at 70 and the dog likes to be covered up.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Left my water dripping, in my new house. I’m still out at my parents’ place now though. Stuck here until maybe Friday. The bridges are mostly shut down, so I can’t go far.

Hopefully the dripping will work. I left the heat on 60. It’s an empty house currently, so maybe the heat will circulate enough…..

LuckyGuy's avatar

I used a thermal imager to search for cold spots. Cupboards mounted on outside walls, (like a bathroom vanity), can really get cold. Leaving the doors open really helps.
I don’t have any water dripping.

Patty_Melt's avatar

We’ve had a serious heart to heart. My house is feeling somewhat insecure, but I explained that pipes can sometimes be fragile, and any bursting should not be taken personally.
I think we’re good.

marinelife's avatar

@chyna Most do. This one is just strange.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I’ve know huskies, a samoyed and a German shepherd who sleep against the door where it’s drafty and cold.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Not really, but its never been an issue in the 9 years I’ve lived in this house.

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