Winter is Here…Are Your Pipes Safe?
With the freezing weather finally here, are your pipes susceptible to freezing? Weatherproofing homes against the cold will pay dividends on energy bills in the winter and will also help protect indoor plumbing against the threat of pipe breaks. How can you prevent against frozen and burst pipes? Read on below for some helpful advice…
- Know what areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms, and outside walls, are most vulnerable to freezing.
- Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
- Know where your main water shut-off valve is. If a pipe freezes or bursts shut the water off immediately.
- Protect your pipes and water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or use electrical heat tracing wire; newspaper or fabric may also work. For outside meters, keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly and let any snow that falls cover it. Snow acts as insulation so don’t disturb it.
2. When Temperatures Fall Below Zero
- If you have pipes that are vulnerable to freezing, allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
- Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing.
3. If Your Pipes Do Freeze
- Shut off the water immediately. Don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.
- Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it, or by applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater, or hot water. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended.
- Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.
- And, if you need further help, remember we’re always a phone call away! Our technicians are available all day, every day to assist with your plumbing and heating needs.