Frigid temperatures; some not seen the Midwest for more than a decade, will descend upon us later today. That part isn’t a secret. What is not discussed is how to prepare against water pipes freezing. Thankfully it is easy, so easy and possibly self-evident, that I questioned whether I needed to write this blog at all. But, because we are often preoccupied with many other thoughts, let me do my thing and help you take care of your home. Let’s call this method Cheap Insurance. Mostly because doing it is so much cheaper than cleaning up water damage.
Any sink on an outside wall, open the cabinet doors under the sink. Do this even if the pipes are not inside the wall. Meaning, you see them coming up through the floor inside the cabinet. The temperatures are going to be so frigid that the area under your sinks could get below freezing. Leaving the doors open allows air to circulate. If in doubt that this method would work exclusively, let the hot and cold water run just a little more than a drip. A small, very tiny stream will create enough water movement inside the pipe to keep it from freezing. That costs money you say?? Well, it costs a lot less than repairing water damage.
Keep in mind, if a pipe has frozen, you likely may not know it until the weather warms up and the pipe thaws enough to spray out of the hole the freeze created.
Lastly, if you have an outside faucet for hoses, and the back of that faucet is in a closet or otherwise buried behind a lot of storage items like boxes, leave the closet door open and/or remove some of the boxes to allow air to circulate.