As the temperatures start to drop rapidly around the country, every homeowner should know about the dangers of frozen pipes. They can happen to anyone; and when a pipe freezes, it can potentially cause a lot of damage. Follow these tips, and you will know how to prevent pipes from freezing and how to deal with them if they do.
Shut Off Your Outside Faucets
Your outdoor faucets have a serious risk of freezing during the winter. Faucets that were installed correctly will close the faucet deep within the pipe, so that no water sits in the pipe outside the house. If your faucet was not installed in this way, you may want to shut off the water going to your outdoor faucets. It is the best way to prevent outside faucets from freezing.
Keep Your Thermostat Turned Up
You may be tempted to save money by lowering your thermostat when you are away from home, but a warm house is what keeps your pipes from freezing. Pipes installed on exterior walls run a greater risk of freezing than pipes on interior walls. Keeping your thermostat low while away for Christmas and New Years could result in a frozen pipe when you return.
Open Your Faucets Slightly
If you do have plumbing on an exterior wall, open the faucet slightly so that it drips a little bit. This will keep the water moving in the pipe, making it difficult for the water to freeze.
Thaw A Frozen Pipe
When a pipe freezes, but does not burst, you will have to warm up the pipe as quickly as possible. Pipes on an interior wall can be difficult because you cannot reach them directly, but there are a few techniques you can try.
Turn up your thermostat to 85 degrees to warm up your house, point a space heater directly on walls that have the frozen pipe, and open up the faucet to relieve pressure in the water line. If you do have access to the pipe, point a hair dryer at the frozen pipe with a metal sheet behind it, the reflective surface will help warm the pipe from both sides quickly.
Call A Plumber For Burst Pipes
If the pipe does bust, you are going to have a big mess on your hands. Start by shutting off your home's main water supply so that the water does not cause any more damage, then contact a local plumber. You may want to consider asking your plumber to replace the burst pipe with a material like PEX that will not burst. If the pipe froze once, it will freeze again.
By following these tips, you will be well prepared for potential plumbing problems in the winter.