You’ve probably noticed how cold it’s been at night lately! If the weather reports call for freezing temperatures, homeowners should take extra precautions to care of their plumbing. To avoid costly repairs and extra stress this time of year, you must learn how to prevent frozen pipes and how to thaw them if they do freeze.
Preventing and Repairing Frozen Pipes
Why Frozen Pipes Are a BIG Problem
Did you know that water expands as it freezes? When it expands inside a pipe, it can have a major impact on your home and yard. The expansion puts great pressure on both metal and plastic pipes, and no matter the strength of the pipe it can break or crack. The last thing any homeowner wants is a flood, so be extra aware of pipes exposed to severe cold or in unheated interior areas including outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool and hot tub supply lines, water sprinkler lines, pipes in basements, attics and garages.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
- Add insulation to any areas of your home that have pipes, such as attics or basements.
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following the manufacturer’s or installer’s directions.
- Close inside valves supplying water to outdoor hose bibs.
- Open outside valves so any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
Short On Time? Last Minute To-Dos to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Close the garage doors, especially if there are any water supply lines in there.
- Open up kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around indoor plumbing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during both the day and night.
- Turn on faucets to let them drip water that is served by pipes coming in from outside because even this little amount of water will prevent pipes from freezing.
- If you’re heading out on a winter vacation or away for the holidays, set the heat in your home to around fifty-five degrees. This prevents the temperature in the house from dropping too low, yet keeps the heater from running nonstop
Worst Case Scenario: How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- Turn on the faucet, because as the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow and help melt the rest of the ice.
- Apply heat to the section of the frozen pipe using a hair dryer, portable space heater (Keep away from flammable materials!), electric heating pad or even by wrapping towels soaked in hot water around the pipes.
- If you cannot find the frozen area of the pipe, the frozen pipe is not accessible or you cannot thaw the pipe, please call Fletcher’s Plumbing for professional help!
For more information how to prevent frozen pipes this winter, or if you have a leak due to pipes freezing and breaking, please contact Fletcher’s today.
We offer a 24 HR emergency service at (530) 673-2489!