Plumbing pipes have to deal with harsh conditions after you have laid them in place. Corrosive underground compounds, excessive moisture and other harsh chemicals all have a negative impact on the pipes you have laid for your plumbing system. To add on that, extreme cold weather also damages galvanised pipes through freezing and thawing of the fluid passing within it. Freezing not only causes blockage but also leads to cracks and fractures on the surface of the pipes. If you have galvanised metal pipes for your plumbing, here are a few tricks to help you keep freezing at bay:
Pipes Must Be Insulated
Insulating your pipes is the first line of defence when you want to prevent freezing and keep its effect at bay. The market has a host of insulation alternatives that you can choose from. Simple fibreglass is a poor conductor of temperature differences. It is an inexpensive option you can use to prevent the transfer of low temperature from the surrounding to the surface of the pipe. On the hand, you can also go for pre-formed pipe sleeves designed to cover a particular pipe and prevent any of part of its surface form being exposed to the environment. Both types of insulants protect your pipe by maintaining relatively stable temperatures around the pipe, preventing freezing of the pipe.
Heat Your Pipes
Heating your water pipes is another way of preventing frozen conditions. Here, special electrical tapes are wrapped around the cross-section of the pipes to act as electrical blankets in the event of extremely low temperatures. By passing electric current through the tapes, heat is generated to keep your pipework warm and free of freeze free. This method is very effective as you can adjust the heating output of the tapes depending on the severity of the low temperature. On the downside, heating tapes can cost you lots of money in terms of energy bills, especially in areas with long winters.
Keep the Taps on the Run
Just in case the cold weather catches you napping and without proper insulation for your pipes, the easiest way is to keep the taps running gradually. In this way, the water will not stagnate and hence no time for freezing. Collect the water in a container where possible to minimise wastage when doing this.
Cut of the Supply
You can also minimise the effects of freezing by cutting off the supply to your house. Shut off the main valves and drain all the water from the system. With no water in the pipework, there are minimal chances of freezing.