How To Keep Pipes & Plumbing From FreezingHow To Keep Pipes & Plumbing From Freezing

You can count on it even as a kid with an ice cube tray - when water or H2O, reaches the freezing temperature it will expand to occupy about one ninth more space. If the water is contained in the confined of a metal pipe basically there will be no room what so ever for expansion, you can be sure as day that it will crack your pipe, series of pipes or plumbing.

Then as the ambient temperature rises - and thus the pipe and its contents thaws - and thus reaches above freezing temperatures - water, or what ever liquid is in the pipe itself - will come pouring and gushing out of the pipe.

These events are what occur with standard metal pipes. The same problem does not occur with modern plastic pipes because simply plastic "stretches" as the freezing water expands. Metal due to its innate characteristics and thresholds, interacts with cold in such a manner and matter to, compound the problem and problems. You can bet your last dollar that with old style metal pipes and virtually guarantying cracks in the pipe and piping materials. Remarkably and amazingly it takes only a few degrees below the standard and accepted freezing point of water (32 degrees F or zero Celsius) to accomplish this simple feat of the elements of nature - damaging the plumbing of your home or summer time vacation cottage. No doubt you will find this damage to your property come spring time. True if your property is up top on a mountaintop the freezing temperature will be even less when it comes time for the water in your plumbing fixtures to freeze - say university lab chemistry authorities.

To prevent your pipes from freezing, simply ensure that no pipe that may be exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees F (or zero degrees Celsius), has water or H2O residues left within the pipe or plumbing fixtures. Obviously, if you are living in a house you do not have to worry about indoor plumbing because it will be safely above the freezing point at all times. Your main concern is with faucets on the outside or exterior areas of your buildings, which are used to connect garden faucets to the water supply. The water in the pipe leading to an outside faucet can simply and easily freeze and the ice can extend backing the pipe to a point actually inside the house itself. Be forewarned.

To drain water from a pipe or any plumbing that meanders its way to an outside faucet, first and foremost take time and care and effort to shut the flow of water to the pipe. In most cases you can easily and simply accomplish this task simply by turning the control valve closed. (The control valves are generally on the same pipes as the exterior pipes but inside your home or building). Next simply open the outside faucet all the way. The water should simply and easily flow out as generally the pipes leading to the faucet or faucets should be sloped slightly in a downwards direction.

In most cases you will find that the building codes or "The Code" in your area has insisted that with the construction of your property that the control valve or valves have as part of their standard setup and installation a drainage cap on the faucet side of the valve. Open this too, to ensure complete drainage even if the pipe is not quite fully opened. Leave it like this through the whole winter time season. Come springtime season, and when you are perfectly sure that the danger and dangers of freezing is past, close the outside faucet and the drainage screw cap, and open the control valve. In dealing with opening of summer time vacation cottages - it never hurts to be on the conservative side. Sure it may be long time wintertime in the city of Winnipeg - yet out in the Manitoba Interlake regions with all the ice of the lakes - it still may be good and cold. Wintertime and freezing temperatures may yet return. So it never hurts to play it safe and conservative. Simply wait a couple of weeks until you "open the cottage"

If you want to have water available in the exterior regions to the property, throughout the winter-time periods, then you can simply employ an anti-freeze faucet. The handle of the outside faucet is connected by a rod long in length, to the valve which is inside and interior to the house. When the faucet is turned off, it closes this valve, and the water that is within the pipe between the valve and the outside runs out of the faucet because of the downward slope of the pipe. Be reassured that if you have this kind of outside faucet, you need not ever worry about your pipes freezing.

Thus these are some simple ways and means of ensuring that any water or liquid residue and residues that remain in metal pipes and piping - be they copper or cast iron do not freeze within the metal confines of your pipes and plumbing as well as plumbing fixtures.
by Alain I Levy
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