The winter season is in full swing and frozen pipes can cause some costly problems. Frozen water can cause pipe bursting which can be a painful repair. Here is what to do to prevent your pipes form freezing and what to do if they do happen to freeze.
Keep the water running
The easiest trick to remember is to keep your faucets dripping when it gets cold. Even if it doesn’t keep your pipes from freezing, it will lower the pressure in the pipes so they don’t burst if they do freeze. Also, keeping the faucet open will help water flow to assist thawing if they are frozen.
To keep your interior pipes from freezing, open up the cabinet doors so air can flow around them to keep them warm. For pipes under the house, wrap them in a layer of foam to keep them from freezing drafts. Keep garage door use to a minimum if your water supply is located in the garage. Make sure where the pipes enter and exit the home is properly sealed. Improper sealing will let hot air out and cool air in. Also seal exterior faucets off with an insulating hose dome to keep them warm in winter.
During the winter months make sure to keep the temperature in the house regulated during all hours of the day and night. Also, if you are going away during the winter months then keep the thermostat at a temperature that will keep the pipes warm enough so they won’t freeze. Make sure all areas of your home are properly insulated and heat isn’t escaping. If the snow is melting on your roof then that means that your ceiling isn’t properly insulated and heat is escaping through the roof.
What to use to thaw a frozen pipe
If a pipe slows to a trickle or stops all-together then you may have frozen or burst pipes. Once you have found the source of the problem open up the faucet to allow water to flow. Then, use any of the listed methods to apply steady heat to the frozen section.
- An electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe.
- A plug-in hair dryer
- A space heater (make sure no flammable substances are near)
- An incandescent heat lamp
- DONT use any open flame tools.
Apply heat until water flow completely comes back. If you are unsuccessful then contact a licensed plumber to take care of the problem.