How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Preparing for winter weather is all about preventing accidents and emergencies. The chilly temperatures have an effect on your home just like they have an effect on you! An insane amount of home insurance claims and home maintenance repairs during winter months are due to busted and frozen pipes. Make sure to avoid crazy repair costs and an unneeded hassle by protecting your plumbing this winter season. Here are some tips from Allstate and State Farm:
- Freezing can start on the outside of your home and creep up the pipe all the way to your water supplies inside. To prevent your pipes from freezing, disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all external spigots/faucets.
- Keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you’re leaving the house for an extended period of time.
- Occasionally open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate all the way to your appliances and plumbing.
- Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows. Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home. Monitor ventilation (especially near electrical wiring, dryer vents, pipes, chimneys, etc.); a draft can cause a pipe to freeze more frequently.
- Insulate the pipes themselves, especially in exterior walls, attics, or crawl spaces. You can also try wrapping them in heat tape or heat cables.
- Here’s a trick to try: A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
- If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine. Drain the water system. Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing. Keep the thermostat set high enough, even though you’ll be away.
If a pipe freeze, how will you know? If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, you may have a frozen pipe. Leave the faucets turned on as you check and as you thaw the pipes.
If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water. Do not try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.)
Another way to thaw a frozen pipe is to heat water on the stove. Then soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes. When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out.
If you know a pipe has burst, or is at high risk, shut off water at the main valve and call a professional.
If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed. Leave the faucets on and call a plumber. Make sure everyone in your house knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.
Another great source of pipe freezing info: http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Frozen-Water-Pipes
If you need help making some adjustments or taking some precautionary measures, or if your pipes have already burst, call Centurion Homes today at 801-805-0177! We can help you out with accurate and professional information, give you a free consultation for any repair, and we know how to get the job done!
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