15 Jan How to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter
With cold weather coming, your water pipes are at risk of freezing. This is caused by sudden temperature drops, poor insulation or incorrect thermostat settings. When water freezes it expands, which puts a large amount of pressure on whatever is containing it. Pipes made from copper and plastic can burst and suddenly flood your home with gallons of water. An 1/8 inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water in just one day! This can cause major structural damage to your home. If not cleaned up immediately this can also lead to secondary damage to your home and higher repair costs.
5 Tips to keep your pipes from freezing
We have created the list of tips below that may help prevent this from happening to your home. You may also want to check out our previous blog on winterizing your home as this covers all areas and not just your pipes.
- Make sure that everyone in your home knows where the water shut off valve is located and how it works. This will help to reduce the amount of water that continues to come from the broken pipe.
- Keep your thermostat set to maintain the same setting both during the day and at night. Most homeowners turn the thermostat down at bedtime to help with heating costs. However, drops in the temperature can make your pipes more likely to freeze. If this happens at night you may be less likely to be aware of the water flooding your home.
- Check for gaps where cold air can come in around your pipes, electrical wiring and dryer vents. These gaps should be sealed with caulk or insulation to keep the cold air out! This will not only protect your pipes from freezing, it will also cut down on your heating costs.
- If your area is expecting freezing temperatures, you may want to consider letting warm water drip slightly overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall of your home.
- If you will be traveling south to enjoy the sunshine and escape the cold weather, remember to evaluate your pipes before you leave. With so many items on your to do list before vacation, this is often one that is forgotten. While it is cost effective to lower the thermostat while you aware away, you should not set it lower than 55֯ F. You may also want to check the battery in your thermostat before leaving. It is also a good idea to ask a friend or neighbor to check on your home to make sure it is warm enough and that you have not had any pipes burst.
What should I do if my pipes freeze?
If you turn on your water and only have a trickle your pipes may likely be frozen. Check other faucets in your home to see if you have any additional frozen pipes. You may have some success thawing the pipes by using a hair dryer. To do this, start by warming the pipe closest to the faucet and work your way towards the frozen section. Keep the faucet turned on as water may begin to flow through the frozen pipe. You should NEVER us electrical appliances in any areas of standing water. This may cause you to be electrocuted. You should also NEVER use a torch or open flame to try and thaw the pipes as this poses a fire hazard!
If you are unable to thaw the frozen pipes or have a pipe that has burst please call us at (330)834-0008 or on our 24 hour emergency line at 888-749-7887 for assistance.