Being equipped and well-versed will with plumbing and pipe issues will help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. There are ways around how to prevent water pipes in your home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.
Why exactly is pipe freezing a Problem? Well water has an exclusive asset in that it enlarges as it freezes. This development puts a great amount of pressure on whatever is surrounding it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the "power" of a container, mounting water can cause pipes to burst. Pipes that freeze most regularly are those that are exposed to relentless cold, for example outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also inclined to freezing.
If you want to prevent frozen pipes, ahead of the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of water supply lines and pipes by following these suggestions:
Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following the company or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless you’re told to do so. Antifreeze is environmentally detrimental, and is dangerous to humans, pets and landscaping.
Remove, drain, and store hoses that are used outdoors. Secure inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
It is crucial that you check around your home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be protected from cold weather.
Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes.
During cold weather, take preventative acts. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold-water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may sustain a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst. If you’re planning to travel outside the country during the winter time, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
It is important to know how to thaw frozen pipes. If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call Anta Plumbing.
Looking for future protection? Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing. Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
Do you want to know deep down what happens with water damage? Well ACR has the statistics for you.
- Water damage is one of the highest filed claims in the U.S.
- 37% of homeowners have filed water damage through of their insurance company
- 250 gallons of water leak from a 1/8 inch crack in a pipe daily
- 93% of water damage is preventable had precautions been taken
- The standard residential insurance claim for damage from a pipe breaking is over $100,000