During winter, it’s important to protect your pipes from freezing. If water gets frozen in your pipes, the volume of the ice can cause cracks in your pipes, leading to plumbing damage. Your pipes could even burst, which can mean expensive repairs and water damage. Water can freeze in pipes if the outside temperature quickly drops, if the thermostat isn’t warm enough, or if the pipes are poorly insulated. In this article, we will give you advice about how to prevent pipes from freezing, as well as what steps you should take if you suspect your pipes are frozen.
The best thing that you can do is keep pipes from getting frozen in the first place. Thankfully, we have some tips to help you achieve this.
- If you’re going to be away from your home for more than a couple of days and it’s going to be very cold, you should consider asking a neighbor you trust to check your pipes. They should make sure that none of your pipes have ruptured and that your prevention measures are working.
- You should seal off or put caulking on any cracks that could let heat escape. Examples of this could be places where pipes go from the outside to the inside of buildings.
- Don’t neglect to protect outdoor pipes. Disconnect garden hoses.
- If your outdoor faucet has a cut-off valve, ensure it is properly closed and that there’s no water left in the faucet. You can protect spigots by putting faucet covers on them during the cold months.
- If the forecast predicts extremely low temperatures, you can start a slow drip of water in the faucets in your home. This includes the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and any other faucets. Just a small drip of medium water is enough to keep water moving through the pipes and prevent them from freezing.
- You can use pipe insulation to insulate pipes in crawl spaces and attics. Even if you don’t live somewhere where it doesn’t often freeze severely, you should still protect your pipes. You can also wrap pipes with heat tape. The best pipe insulation for you will depend on your home and your situation. Platinum Full Service Plumbing can help you protect your pipes for the winter- contact us today to learn more.
If you find that your pipes are already frozen, it’s important to address the problem. If you turn on the faucet and there’s only a small trickle or drip of water, this could be because a pipe is frozen. Check along your water lines and see which spots are very cold. You should also look for any breaks or cracks. If you do find a broken pipe, then you should go to your water main and turn off the water. Contact Platinum Full Service Plumbing, and we can assist you with fixing the project.
If the pipes are not broken, you may be able to thaw them. This process needs to be carried out quickly and safely. For exposed and enclosed pipes, you can open up the frozen pipe’s faucet. Flowing water can help encourage the ice to melt. If a pipe is exposed, you can use a heat source to melt the ice inside of it. There’s a variety of ways that you can accomplish this.
You could wrap the pipe with a heating pad and crank up the heat. Another method is to use a hair dryer on the pipe. You can move the heat stream back and forth in small pipe sections simultaneously. You can envelop the pipe with heated, damp towels. However, you must change these wraps frequently because the pipe will absorb the heat. You can also place a space heater in the area so that it warms up the air around the pipe. If you need to, you can move the heater to focus on different pipe sections. Continue this until the water pressure is back to normal and the pipes are sufficiently thawed.
Space heaters can also be used to prevent pipes from freezing in the first place. In places where pipes are at risk of freezing, you can turn on a space heater to add some extra warmth to the area. You could use a space heater in your bathroom, which has the added benefit of keeping people who use it warm, too. If you do this, you should make sure not to use an extension cord as this could prove dangerous.
If you have enclosed pipes (located within a wall or in a hard-to-reach area) that are frozen, your methods may need to differ. You could crank up your home’s thermostat. The higher temperatures could work to thaw pipes inside of the walls. In extreme cases, you may need to actually remove a section of the wall so that you can access the pipe. After that, any of the methods previously mentioned can work to thaw the pipes.
It may be tempting, but you should never try to thaw pipes with open flames or extreme heat. This means no heat guns or blow torches. Not only could this cause a fire, but it can easily seriously damage the pipe. Be patient and use methods that will gradually thaw out frozen pipes.
You can use the methods we mentioned to thaw pipes, but the best thing is to prevent them from freezing in the first place. For any of your plumbing needs, you can rely on Platinum Full Service Plumbing. We use high-quality products and have extensive experience in all manner of plumbing issues. If you cannot locate where the frozen area of the pipe is, you should get in touch with us so that we can help. We can also help if you cannot thaw the pipe or if the frozen area is inaccessible (such as being inside a wall).
Our website has more information about the services that we offer. For excellent Puyallup plumbers, you can trust Platinum Full Service Plumbing.
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