Cheap and Easy Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Winter weather can damage the plumbing in your house. You need to know why pipes freeze, how you can prevent frozen pipes, how to thaw out frozen plumbing, and what to do if frozen pipes lead to a broken water line.
This blog tells you everything you need to know to take care of your plumbing when the temperatures get low. Watch the video to learn about frozen pipes here:
So, why do pipes burst? Water expands and freezes, and winter weather is what makes that happen.
When temperatures get down below freezing and stay there, the water line inside the pipe isn’t moving. If it stays below freezing for a certain amount of time, the pipe will freeze.
Frozen pipes are bad, but thawing of frozen pipes is what creates a plumbing issue. When water freezes it expands, creating pressure on copper pipes. This causes the pipe to split or burst. If no one is there to stop the pipe from bursting, the water will go everywhere.
First, you have to identify the frozen pipe to thaw it out. If water isn’t coming to a certain fixture, you know that’s where it’s frozen.
Normally when a line freezes, it’s on the exterior wall of a house. In Texas, usually on the North side, the side that gets colder. Identifying which line it is will help determine if you can thaw it out or not.
When you figure out which pipe is frozen, you’ll know if it’s something you can fix yourself or if you’ll have to call a plumber.
Insulation is great and recommended for all of your pipes. However, it doesn’t always work. Especially in very cold weather. Just because your pipes are insulated, doesn’t mean they won’t freeze.
There are certain things you can do to help keep them from freezing. The thing to remember is, prevention for pipe freezing is the best investment for your plumbing system.
If you have plumbing on an exterior wall, think about what you can do. The first thing you can do is open cabinets hiding the plumbing. Doing this makes it easier for warm air from the house to reach pipes on exterior walls.
If you need to thaw frozen pipes, this is what you need to do:
Thawing Step #1
First, turn off the water to your house. If you can’t turn off the water to the individual line, you’ll need to turn it off for the entire house. If you need to learn to turn off the water to your house, click here.
Thawing Step #2
The next thing to do is open any faucets. Turning on the faucet will give the pressure somewhere to go once the pipe thaws.
Thawing Step #3
Open cabinets to get warmth on the pipe. The warmer you can get the area, the better. You can use things like a space heater, heat lamp, and even a blow dryer. However, make sure not to use an open flame.
If you have a pipe busted, it’s best to call a plumber. Hopefully, you’ve thought about this before and followed the preventative steps.
If the temperature is really cold turn on the faucet and let it drip prior to freezing temperatures. For water conservation purposes, put a bucket underneath to catch the water. Don’t forget to shut the faucet off as soon as the temperatures start to rise.
You may waste some water and it may cost a little more money, but at least you won’t have frozen pipes. The problem with frozen pipes falling and busting is now you have other repairs that have to be made.
Make sure to disconnect the hoses from exterior faucets. The frost proof can split and freeze on the inside.
When it comes to frozen pipes, you can normally avoid problems. This is why you should plan for it in advance. Behind the refrigerator, if your freezer has an ice maker, there’s a valve. Normally if there’s a problem, you’ll want to call a plumber to get into the wall.