WITH more freezing cold temperatures predicted for the weekend – the mercury will dip as low as -4 degrees Celsius, according to www.weatherzone.com.au – the Central Western Daily has scoured the internet for tips to help prevent a repeat of the avalanche of burst water pipes reported on Monday.
Some of the advice is obvious, some of it may be new to you, but all of it should help you avoid a costly plumbing repair bill.
TIP #1: TRY TO KEEP THE HEAT ON
If you or your tenants are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on your property.
It may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utilities.
You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.
The heat does not have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were actually in the property, but keeping it set at above 10 degrees is a good idea.
This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
GALLERY: Readers’ photos of Sunday morning’s frost …
TIP #2: ALLOW YOUR TAPS TO DRIP
IF you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can allow the faucet to drip slightly.
Allowing the tap to be open like this will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst.
Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.
TIP #3: KEEP INTERIOR DOORS OPEN
PIPES are often located in cabinets. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well.
You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.
VIDEO: Orange resident Mady June’s burst pipes …
TIP #4: SEAL UP CRACKS AND HOLES
You should caulk any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls.
Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
TIP #5: ADD EXTRA INSULATION
PIPES that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing.
Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.
Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.
TIP #6: DON’T PARK YOUR CAR NEAR A SPRINKLER
While not technically a tip to avoid a burst pipe, this just makes sense. See photo above for further clarification.