There are two options to keep the water flowing if you have to use outside pipes. One option is to add heat to the water through things like electrical heat tape.
“Heat tape can be hooked up and plugged in,” said Bruce Davis, salesman at Rockingham Electrical and Plumbing.
You can add heat with a heating device like a heat lamp if it’s in an enclosed space, a relatively small building or something similar. If adding heat isn’t possible, try running a constant trickle of water through the pipes. It does not have to be warm water, according to plumbing and piping officials. They recommend keeping a steady trickle during the extreme cold when you’re worried about the pipes freezing solid.
Outdoor water lines that run through a heated area can benefit from having insulation wrapped around them. If a short run of pipe was protected but it went through a crawl space under the house, officials recommend wrapping the pipe in insulation.
“When water comes through the pipe, the heat cannot escape from the water line as it’s passing through the unheated space,” said Living the Country Life magazine. “That kind of insulation can help. Water pipes that are exposed in barns and sheds can be insulated, too, but keep your animals in mind. Livestock might find insulation interesting to chew on.”
Davis said indoor water pipes that run along outer walls of a house can freeze as well. He recommends making sure your house is up to code.
“The newer houses are all insulated up to code,” said Davis. He said a variety of issues can pop up when pipes burst.
“The water bill goes up if a pipe busted under the house and you don’t know about it,” said Davis.
“If the pipes in the attic bust, you’ll have water damage and flooding,” said Davis. “If you’re renting, let somebody know so it can be fixed as soon as possible.”
Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910)997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.