How Can You Prevent Frozen Pipes and Costly Damage?
The time for wicked winter weather and the annual plummet into a deep freeze are here. How about it, did you prepare your home for its arrival? Or are you spouting a few choice words because you are dealing with a winter plumbing emergency? Frozen pipes and their costly damage can be prevented, and Blue Frost Heating & Cooling is here to help.
10 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes
We’ve talked about this before. See Freezing Pipes: A Winter Disaster. Water is unique. It expands as it freezes. And no matter how “strong” a pipe is, expanding water will cause it to break.
- Drain water from supply lines. Do not put antifreeze in these lines. It’s an environmental hazard and harmful to humans, animals, and plant life.
- Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses. Inside valves that supply water to outdoor hose bibs should be closed. Open the outside hose bibs and allow the water to drain. Then, leave the outside valve open. This will let any water remaining in the pipe to expand without causing the pipe to burst.
- Insulate pipes. Both hot and cold water pipes in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets should be insulated.
- Keep garage doors closed. If there are water supply lines in the garage, keep the doors closed.
- Keep a close eye on water pressure. A slow tub or faucet can be the first clue for frozen pipes. Don’t let this go. If you notice restricted water flow, it’s important to call a plumber right away.
- Disconnect garden hoses. Disconnect them ahead of wintertime temperatures. Ice can build up around the hose, and cause pressure on the waterlines leading into your home.
- Open up cabinet doors. Open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. It’s also a good idea to keep the temperature inside your home set above 55 degrees.
- Let a pipe drip. Again, on the coldest winter days, let cold water drip from the faucet. Running water through an exposed pipe can help prevent it from bursting.
- Check the line around your sump pump drainage. Make sure the line around your sump pump drainage is not blocked. If the line is draining into excess snow or a frozen puddle, it could cause a backup into your house.
- Don’t turn off the heat. If you are going anywhere for even a couple of days, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
But What If …
That’s all fine and good, Tom, but what now? What if I didn’t make sure my plumbing was ready for another insufferable Chicago winter, and a pipe has burst? If this is the case for you, we’re sorry. We really are!
Here are two very important things you should do:
- If you have a pipe that’s already burst, turn off the main water line in the house. This will prevent further damage, and that’s important! If water leaks into the walls, you may have to deal with lingering mold issues later. And you won’t want that or the cost to fix them.
- Call (630) 444-0860 for a Blue Frost Heating & Cooling plumber. We will replace the damaged pipe and restore your home’s plumbing to proper working order.
If you’d like to try your hand at thawing frozen pipes, here are 4 steps to take:
- Turn on the faucet and keep it open. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe that is frozen. Wrap an electric heating around the pipe, or use an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater. Even towels soaked in hot water can be wrapped around the frozen pipe. Don’t use an open flame device.
- Continue applying heat until water pressure is fully restored.
- Check all other faucets in your home. If you have one frozen pipe, chances are others may be frozen, too. If you can’t locate the freeze, the frozen area is inaccessible, or the pipe won’t thaw, call Blue Frost Heating & Cooling. You need help from one of our licensed plumbers.
Avoid the Mess and Expense of Frozen Pipes
Taking preventive measures before winter sets in reduces and eliminates the risk of frozen pipes and costly damage. If you didn’t take preventive measures in the fall, go ahead and do all that now, before a pipe bursts. And remember, if you need help with frozen pipes, Blue Frost Heating & Cooling is here! Just call (630) 444-0860. We are licensed and reliable. You can trust Blue Frost Heating & Cooling to take care of your home.
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