Do you spend hours every winter with your head under your kitchen or bathroom sink, holding a hair dryer to the pipes to thaw them before they burst? This year can be different – eliminate the chances of the pipes freezing and you won't have to worry about burning out your hair dryer this year. Here, you'll find a few tips to help you do just that.
The pipes freeze because they've gotten too cold. Insulation will help to prevent that. You have a few choices on how you want to go about insulating the space.
Insulation Batting – Batting can be installed on the wall behind the piping and underneath the cabinet. The downside to using batting like this is that it will be exposed unless you panel in front of it.
Foam Board – Foam board insulation will probably be the easiest method of preventing pipe freeze. You can measure the wall behind the piping and cut the foam board to size. It can then be tacked into place.
Pipe Insulation – Instead of insulating the entire space under the sink, you can opt to insulate the visible pipes instead. One thing to remember is that the pipes that are below your line of sight will not be protected, and freezes may still occur.
Spray Foam Insulation – This product works great. First, a small hole is drilled into the wall behind the pipes. A small nozzle is slid into the hole and the insulation is sprayed into the wall, swelling as it fills the gaps.
The pipes under your sinks freeze because they aren't exposed to the warmth from inside your home. You can add a small vent to the base of the sink cabinet to allow for the heat to enter the space. All you'll need is a Dremmel with a cutting tip, a screwdriver, a vent, and a measuring tape.
Measure and cut the hole in the base. Slide the vent into position and attach it with the screws. Keep the vent open when temperatures are below freezing and close it when things warm up a bit.
Talk with your local plumbing contractor to learn more about what you can do to prevent the pipes underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks from freezing. Preventative measures are much wiser than spending all of that time trying to fight an impossible battle that really shouldn't have been an issue to begin with. Your plumber will guide you to finding the best solution for your troubles.