Watch Out for Frozen Pipes

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter is coming so it is best to be ready for it. We have already talked about furnace inspections and turning the furnace on, so now we should switch gears and discuss getting your plumbing ready for winter as well. Water pipes can freeze and burst when they get too cold. This could cause lots of expensive, irreparable damage to your home. How can we stop this? Just follow these simple steps:

  • Keep Water Pipes Warm-it may be obvious, but a foolproof way to prevent water pipes bursting is to not let the water freeze. Water pipes inside the home are normally not in danger of freezing if the indoor temperature is never too low.
  • Pipes located in non heated areas, such as the basement, or outside of the home pose a greater threat.
    There are two options for dealing with these pipes:
    1. Ask a plumber if the pipes could be configured so they run in heated areas, but this might be too difficult.
    2. If the pipes cannot be changed, you should insulate these outdoor pipes or pipes in non heated areas. Insulation can be found through professional companies such as A.B. May and at hardware stores and plumbing supply stores. The thicker the insulation, the more protected your pipes will be.

If you already have pipes located inside, lucky you! However, you should still check the walls for cracks and holes that might let cold air in around these pipes, and then seal off any holes or cracks you find. Keep Water Flowing-It is not just frozen water that causes the pipes to burst, it is the pressure that these frozen sections create in the pipe. Therefore, just turn the faucet on so it is dripping a little bit, and that will relieve the pressure. This should only be done for pipes outside or in non heated areas so you do not unnecessarily waste water. For more information, please contact A.B. May! Most of this information was found at “Preventing Frozen Pipes” (The Weather Channel). Remember, if you do have a burst pipe, immediately call a plumber to help.