As homeowners slog their way through the cold winter, protecting pipes in the home from freezing becomes a significant area of concern in cold areas. Frozen pipes can lead to everything from minor leaks to full-on bursts and full system replacements, and the best remedy of all here is simply avoiding these problems in the first place.
At All Hours Plumbing, Heating & Air, we can help here. Let’s look at a few basic tips to prevent pipes from freezing during the winter, plus what to do in case you have an issue that arises from a frozen pipe.
Avoiding Frozen Pipes
- Insulation: Consider insulation for a couple important areas. Firstly, wrap the pipes in your basement or crawl spaces – often the coldest spots in the house – with heat tape or insulated sleeves. Next, especially if you have a water heater in a cold area, consider putting an insulated blanket around it. Both these tactics will keep water warmer as it flows through pipes.
- Vents: Make sure all your heating vents are open and there is no furniture blocking their flow.
- Faucets: Particularly for faucets connected to pipes that run through cold areas, keep a slow trickle of water running.
- Circulation: Keep cabinet and pantry doors open to allow warm air to circulate in pipes behind these areas.
- Thermostat: Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and night. If you leave town on vacation, leave it set to at least 55 degrees to ensure no pipes freeze.
How to React
If your pipes do freeze, here are some tips on how to respond:
- Find the area where the pipe has frozen, often against a wall or at a point where water enters the home.
- Keep faucets open. Once the pipe starts thawing, water will flow. Running water through a pipe will help melt the ice inside.
- If possible, try to apply heat to the section of the pipe that’s frozen. You can use a hair dryer, a heating pad or a portable space heater, if it fits.
For more on avoiding frozen pipes in winter, or to find out about any of our plumbing services, speak to the pros at All Hours Plumbing, Heating & Air today.