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Winterize Now: 6 Ways to Prevent & Repair Frozen Pipe


No one wants to battle with burst pipe, especially on the heels of a festive holiday season. Although frozen and broken pipe are common during the winter months, there are a number of ways to prevent the problem and avoid costly repairs. Read on for a few tips on how to winterize your pipes, and how to repair pipe that has been damaged by freezing.

Stop Pipe From Freezing in the First Place

1) Shut off the water to a outside hose bibbs (spigots) & drain the pipe

Turn the faucet water supply off from inside the house. Open the faucet and shut-off valve, and let the water drain out of the pipe. If you don’t drain water out of the pipe completely, there’s a chance it can freeze, causing damage to the pipe. Use hose bibb covers for added protection of the spigot. For unoccupied and unheated residences, turn off the main waterline and open all the faucets to allow pipes to drain.

2) Bring in the hose

Don’t leave a hose filled with water outside in freezing temperatures. Disconnect the hose and store it in a warm place to prevent the water inside the hose, and the hose itself, from freezing. Failing to bring in the hose during could not only cause the hose to freeze, but pipe can also be damaged, due to leftover water freezing in the section of the pipe beyond the sillcock.

3) Install frost-free sillcocks

Another way to help prevent frozen pipe is to install a frost-free, or freezeproof, sillcock. When water freezes, it expands, and can create thousands of pounds of pressure within a pipe, causing it to rupture. A frost-free sillcock is designed with the water shut-off valve located at the inlet of the sillcock for freeze resistance, and allows the water flow to be regulated. Install the frost-free sillcock installed with a downward pitch so that water can drain freely, and not freeze inside the faucet and hose. Check out this video on How To Install a SharkBite Outdoor Hose Bibb or Sillcock to see how it’s done.

4) Adjust your thermostat

Pipes can freeze if indoor temperatures drop too low for an extended period of time. To keep this from happening, set your thermostat to the same temperature throughout the day and night. And, if you’re going on vacation away from home during the winter, set your heat to at least 55 degrees.

5) Consider a water monitor

A water monitor can alert you to potential burst pipe scenarios due to freezing using sensors that measure ambient room temperature. Depending on the monitor, an associated app can send you a push notification to let you know your pipes are at risk. Although this is not a prevention in and of itself, there are monitors that provide you with a proactive alert so that you can take action - such as turning on a faucet or leaving water dripping overnight. Some water monitors also incorporate easily with your Nest Learning Thermostat or Alexa Smart Home Device.

What To Do When The Damage Is Done

6) Fix it with SharkBite Slip Repair Fittings

Unfortunately, pipe still freezes sometimes, no matter how we try to prevent it. If this happens to you, and thawing isn’t an option due to pipe damage, SharkBite slip repair fittings are an ideal solution. SharkBite repair couplings, tees, adapters, ball valves and pressure regulating valves allow you to make quick repairs to Copper or CPVC pipe and help to prevent future freezing. Simply remove up to two inches of damaged pipe, and repair with a single fitting, without using additional pipe. Repairing pipe with SharkBite is simple, with no wasted pipe and no tools required.

Learn how to repair leaking pipe with SharkBite.