What Are Frozen Pipes?
Extreme cold can create a substantial risk for frozen or burst pipes. Freezing water turns to ice within the pipe, it expands and can block the line. This blockage can create excessive pressure throughout the system and cause pipes to explode, regardless of pipe material. A broken pipe can run more than 250 gallons of water in a single day. The results can cause property damage and high repair costs.
Water pipes are made from a variety of materials including PVC, iron, polyethylene or copper. They deliver potable water from the street or well to all areas of your home for use in the kitchen, bath, laundry, and outside irrigation. Water lines are pressurized and more susceptible to leaks.
Tips to Help Pipes from Freezing
Every winter, many homeowners face the expense and inconvenience of frozen water pipes. However, you can cross that issue off your list of winter worries by taking a few precautions.
Steady Water Flow
On extremely cold days, it can help to leave a steady drip of water flowing from a bathroom faucet to keep lines from freezing.
Disconnect and Drain Outdoor Hoses
Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, one hard, overnight freeze can burst the faucet or the connecting pipe.
Find the Master Shutoff
It may be near the water heater or the washing machine. More likely it’s where the water line comes into your house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, turn this valve off to stop water flow. Find it now and paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it does.
Insulate Pipes or Faucets in Unheated Areas
If you have pipelines in an unheated garage or a crawl space under the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures plummet. Hardware or building supply stores will have good pipe-wrapping materials available.
Insulate and Protect Access Doors, Air Vents & Cracks
Winter winds blowing through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. But don’t plug the air vents your furnace or water heater needs for good combustion. Call Schrader Plumbing for an inspection today.
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