1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

November 7, 2008

:312 Protect Plumbing

Filed under: :312 Protect Plumbing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 4:37 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:312 EcoTip: As winter approaches its time to double check your plumbing insulation to be sure it is protected from freezing. Insulation should be in good condition and not have been pulled back away from the pipes. Rodent damage to insulation is another common cause of exposed pipes becoming frozen.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :218

The following excerpt is from my book – Extreme Weather Hits Home: Protecting Your Building From Climate Change.


In his book Water in Buildings, Architect William Rose tells us that according to the insurance industry the greatest losses from freezing weather conditions don’t occur in parts of the country that commonly freeze. “The claims come much more from the southern United States than from the northern states. Texas and Florida were highest on a per capita basis; Minnesota was the lowest. We can attribute this to the surprise factor — Minnesotans build such that freezing pipes are unlikely, whereas southerners may be caught by surprise by an unexpected cold wave. … Insurance companies paid around $4.5 billion in the 10-year period 1985-1995 in claims for pipes bursting”

Frozen pipes, ice dams, heaving foundations and overloaded roofs are all rare conditions in the north where people are prepared for them, but become epidemic when very cold weather hits the southern parts of North America. Plumbing installed in southern states is rarely insulated and frequently has some point where it comes above ground such as water shut-off valves and entry points into the building. Furthermore it’s common for buildings in the same general vicinity to be constructed similarly so when failures occur they tend to be repeated at the neighbors’ homes as well.

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