What can I do to prevent the water pipes from bursting from the frost in cold winter days? This question is on our minds every time we have a frost and the temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius.
The water pipes will freeze
When we have freezing conditions the water pipes in the garden freeze and break.
If the temperature, especially in the evening, drops below freezing the water pipes will freeze and break.
If you don’t take protective measures, the water pipes will break and create a huge problem that will cost you a lot of money to repair and a lot of hassle.
I give you useful practical tips to prevent the disaster.
What you can do immediately to avoid damage from freezing water pipes in the garden and home
Water pipes will freeze. This is something you cannot avoid. What to do to prevent the pipes from breaking.
Water pipes break when they freeze because ice has a larger volume than water and is incompressible. If it doesn’t find a way to disperse, it breaks the pipe from the pressure it creates.
Leave the faucets slightly open so they drip. The swelling created by the ice buildup inside the water pipes will be relieved and the pipes will not break.
Turn on all the taps. Not just one or two. Even if they are very close to each other.
I advise you to turn them on just enough to start dripping. Turn on the faucets (taps) that are inside the house. Just because they are inside the house does not ensure that a problem will not arise. If you have a cesspool and no sewer connection, you can put a basin under each tap so that the water will drip into it.
Especially e.g. in the kitchen tap, open the cupboards underneath it.
If you are thinking about the water bill, trust me the benefit you will get will be huge compared to the cost of the plumber and the repair.
Disconnect the watering hoses from the faucets. The water inside the watering hoses will freeze first. The pressure exerted can cause problems with the faucet.
Remove the automatic sprinklers from the faucets and place them inside a heated area after draining the water from them. If you don’t, the ice that will form in them will damage the electrovalve and the automatic sprinkler.
I willnot mention solutions of the style of lighting fires or taking out heaters to warm the pipes because these are of no practical value.
The safest solution
The safest solution is to turn off the main supply tap on the Water Supply Company meter and turn on all the taps in the garden and inside the house.
Prepare the garden pipes for the frost
The solution is one. Before the freeze, insulate the pipes as well as you can along their entire exposed length, without skipping corners and hard spots.
You will find many products for pipe insulation on the market.
Insulating pipes will reduce the problem and make it easier for you, it will not solve it 100%. So take all the measures mentioned in the previous section.
Use good quality taps (valves)!
Make sure you have water in the house
Keep a supply of water in the house so that you can have water to drink and for the toilet. Fill bottles and basins.
Don’t be put off by the ‘aesthetics’ of basins full of water. You are in an emergency situation. I say this for some representatives of the weaker sex. Are you listening, woman!… Most men have been in the military and know what practical solutions and survival means.
Protect the trees from freezing
Young trees especially need protection to keep snow or water from falling on their leaves, which will “burn” them when it freezes.
Cover young trees with plastic bags or plastic sheeting.
Think about birds and pets
Drop food in the snow for birds.
Make sure pets have food, drinking water and protection from the cold.
I hope my practical tips are helpful and that you find them helpful.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence.
The one who got it because he didn’t know and ran to find a plumber and the one who learned and didn’t get it again.