The Winter is Coming – Prevent Frozen Pipes

It’s time to anticipate the coming winter when frozen pipes become a possibility once more. Is your home prepared for freezing temperatures?

Why Does it Matter if Pipes Freeze?

You might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Frozen pipes thaw eventually, and then everything returns to normal….

The first problem with frozen pipes is that they block the flow of water, but more importantly, frozen pipes can burst. If you’ve ever seen a can of lemonade explode after being left in the freezer for too long, you have witnessed the effect that expanding water can have on your pipes.

Where are Pipes Most Likely to Freeze?

  • By placement: No matter where you live, pipes are more susceptible to freezing when they’re exposed to the elements. This includes pipes installed in the attic, along with exterior walls, and anywhere that cracks or openings in the wall allow cold, outdoor air to flow over the pipes.

How Cold Does it Have to be for Pipes to Freeze?

In homes with un-insulated pipes installed in the unconditioned attic the temperature alert threshold is -6 degrees C. While it’s possible for pipes to freeze above this temperature if substantial outdoor air flows across them,  -6 degrees is the official danger zone to watch out for.

If bitterly cold temperatures occur in your area, watch out for frozen pipes symptoms, which include low water pressure at the tap and frost on exposed pipes.

frozen pipes covered in ice

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing

The best option is to install plumbing only in insulated spaces. For existing homes where pipe rerouting is impractical, take these steps to keep pipes from freezing in the crawl space or attic:

  • Fit vulnerable pipes with heat tape or insulation.
  • Seal cracks and holes in exterior walls and foundations.
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom cupboards open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Let a tap drip on particularly cold nights to prevent pressure from building up and bursting a frozen pipe.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you notice frozen pipes symptoms, don’t take any chances – call Drain Doctor right away. While waiting for the plumber to arrive, follow these steps to start thawing the frozen pipe:

  • Turn off the main water line in case the pipe has burst.
  • Open the tap to reduce pressure.
  • If the frozen pipe is behind a finished wall or underground, leave the thawing process to your plumber.

If you experience frozen pipes this winter, turn to Drain Doctor for help. We can safely thaw frozen pipes, even those located underground, and help you take steps to prevent pipes from freezing this winter.

 

Posted by Drain Doctor