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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Freezing!

When we moved from Georgia to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we faced issues we never had when we lived down south. More specifically, my childhood home was prone to frozen water pipes in the winter and a flooded basement in the spring. This was the norm for the UP and we were used to leaving the faucets dripping and helping our parents scoop water out of the basement in the spring. I never thought that I would have to deal with these issues in SE Michigan.

To prevent any water issues, I unhook the garden hose from my outside faucets every fall and cover them with insulated faucet covers to protect the water lines (there is not a hole in the covers - this image just shows what the covers look like over an outdoor faucet). I also turn off the valves to the outside lines to prevent water from freezing. These tasks have worked great for me in the past but earlier this winter the water pipes in my kitchen froze despite my attempts to prevent it. I turned the faucets on and set up a portable heater under the kitchen cabinet so that the heat was blowing directly on the lines into the kitchen faucet. This thawed the lines quickly and resulted in not having any water damage to the house (once the pipes freeze they can burst, sending gallons of water rushing into your home).

I figured they ended up freezing since this winter was exceptionally cold in SE Michigan and the kitchen water lines are on an outside wall meaning they do not have insulation protecting them like the lines in the basement and the lines in the bathroom. Yesterday my lines in the kitchen froze again so I had to repeat the steps to thaw the lines. Right now the cabinet doors are open to warm the space under the sink and my hot and cold water are both dripping in the kitchen sink so that the lines don't freeze. Although I'm trying to conserve water I figured that dripping water for a couple of days was better than having a pipe freeze and burst in my home.

For methods for preventing and thawing frozen lines, check out this article. I plan on insulating my pipes to prevent further freezing using some products shown here.

2 comments:

  1. Nothing worst than a flooded basement. I've experienced in the last 3 houses I've lived in! Booh!

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  2. I remember all the times in the UP when we'd open the basement door and see something float by. ;) Flooded basements are definitely not my idea of fun.

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