Frozen Pipes & Burst Pipes
Every year, according to State Farm Insurance, a quarter of a million homes experience frozen and burst pipes. When water freezes, it expands and puts a ton of pressure on your pipes.
Frozen pipes can become a major disaster, often leading to pipes bursting or flooding of the home when the water thaws.
Burst pipes can cause significant leaks, wasting water and wasting your money. Winter roles around before you know it, so be sure to take preventative measures early on. Preventing your pipes from freezing will save you money and headaches in the future.
How to prevent frozen pipes
- Insulate exposed pipes using a “pipe sleeve”, “heat tape” or similar materials. Pipes that are often exposed include outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated areas in your home such as basements, crawl spaes, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets.
- Drain water from your swimming pool and sprinkler water supply line following manufacturers’ instructions
- Disconnect your hose and drain it. Then close the cutoff valve inside of your home and open the outside faucet to drain any water that is left. To prevent frozen pipes, these should be closed off for the winter.
- Use the heater in your house even if you are not at home. This may use up a little more energy, but it will be worth it if it prevents your pipes from freezing.
- Let water trickle from fixtures. Overnight when your house gets much colder, this may help prevent frozen pipes.
Pipes already frozen?
Is a faucet in your home only trickling when you turn it on? This might mean that your pipes have already frozen. But don’t worry, there is still a chance to prevent your pipes from bursting. If you couldn’t get to the pipes in time, here are some steps to follow:
- When you are treating your frozen pipe, keep the taps open. When some thawing occurs, this will allow the small amount of water to flow and help speed up the thawing process.
- Use slower thawing methods such as a wrapping your pipe with a heating pad, or using a hair dryer on the pipe that you suspect is frozen. Never use a tool with an open flame on your pipes.
- Do this until you have restored full water pressure in your house. If you have trouble or cannot find the pipe that is frozen, give Precision Plumbing, Heating and Cooling services a call! We can locate and thaw the pipe for you, especially if it is in an area that is not immediately accessible.