How to Prevent and Thaw Frozen Pipes
How to Prevent and Thaw Frozen PipesJanuary 14 / 2016
Preparation and a little bit of education can go a long way toward helping you avoid the mess and expense that frozen pipes can cause. Even in warmer climates like Southern California, Arizona, and Texas (areas that Rooter Hero Plumbing serves), cold spells do occur and when they do they can take unprepared homeowners by surprise. Here are some tips for preventing frozen water pipes and what to do if they do freeze.
Why Pipes FreezeWhen water freezes it expands and can put pressure on piping. This pressure is quite powerful and even metal pipes are not strong enough to withstand the water’s expansion. Usually, pipes that freeze are those that are exposed to the cold because they are exterior pipes. These kinds of pipes may include any of the following:
- Outdoor hose bids
- Irrigation lines
- Swimming pool supply lines
Preventing Frozen PipesDuring colder weather, it’s important to take certain measures to protect your home’s piping.
- Drain all supply lines to swimming pools and irrigation systems when closing for the season.
- Turn off and drain outdoor hose bibs.
- Disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets.
- Insulate piping that is exposed to exterior elements.
- Keep the temperature in your house at a steady temperature. Some people choose to lower the thermostat during the day when no one is at home. In colder temperatures, suspend this tactic.
- If you’re planning to be away from your home for a long period of time during colder temperatures, make sure your heating is still running at regular temperatures.
- Open cabinet doors in kitchens and bathrooms when plumbing is up against an exterior wall to keep warm air moving over the pipes.
Thawing Frozen PipesIf your pipes do freeze, don’t panic. Take a moment to collect your thoughts and do the following:
- Apply heat to the section of the pipe you suspect is frozen. You can use a hot compress, hair dryer, or heating pad. Portable space heaters can also be used with caution.
- Open the faucet to prevent it bursting when the water starts to flow again.
- Keep applying heat until the pipes thaw.