Your home is your shelter from the harsh Toronto winter weather. During winter, plumbers receive the most call-outs due to frozen pipes. However, careful planning can help prevent the inconvenience.
You may be able to warm yourself, but your home takes a beating. This winter, be kind to your home and keep your plumbing system in good working order with these great tips from the Anta Plumbing team.
Winter's cold climates pose a real risk for your pipes. Since water expands when it becomes frozen, your pipes could burst when their temperature drops below 32 degrees. A pipe fracture can happen in a short period and that's why you should do what you can to prevent it.
Frozen water pipes pose a serious risk during winter, especially as the water exerts thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch, which can easily burst your pipe. Flooding is a real risk, causing major damage to a home.
Toronto Master Plumber Tip: NEVER use open flame to thaw frozen pipes as it poses a fire hazard. In fact, it is the most common cause of home fires in winter.
Tip # 1: Insulate Your Pipes
Cold air can cause pipes to freeze, so you can use pipe sleeves to insulate your pipes. Close crawl spaces vents and use insulation to stuff openings, as even the smallest opening or hole can let in plenty cold air.
Tip # 2: Maintain Maximum Heat
Kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms next to or above garages are particularly vulnerable to cold air. That's why it is important to maintain maximum heat by keeping the garage door closed.
Tip # 3: Protect Exterior Bathroom Pipes
Keeping your bathroom doors open, will let warm air into the bathroom. This will help prevent exterior bathroom pipes from freezing.
Toronto Plumber Tip: Wrap electric heating tape around the water pipes running along exterior pipes.
Tip # 4: Keep Air Circulating
Circulating warm air near the pipes can help prevent frozen pipes during deep winter freezes. You can use a small space heater for extra warmth, or use a fan to circulate the air.
Toronto Plumber Tip: Turn several faucets on to keep water moving slowly through the pipes to help prevent the main line from freezing.
Tip # 5: Don't Turn Off the Heat
If you're leaving your home during winter, don't turn off the heat. Set the temperature to no less than 55 degrees, but if you have had frozen pipes before, it is best to make it higher. Adjust your thermostats appropriately if you have multiple heat zones.
Toronto Plumber Tip: If there's no heat in the house, drain all the water out of your pipes by turning off the water supply at the main valve and running all the faucets until no more water flows from them.
Despite our best intentions, and careful planning, we still end up with frozen pipes during deep freezes. When it happens, there are a few things you can do:
1. Thaw the pipes immediately.
2. Leave the main water supply valve open to allow the incoming pressure to help remove the loosened ice.
3. From the faucet, work back toward the mains.
Be sure to use one of the safer methods, such as a heat gun, hair dryer, heat lamp, or a heating cable. Don't use open flames. If nothing helps, call Anta Plumbing.