5 Steps to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing
There is no quick fix for a broken water pipe. Especially, if it is one that is fully enclosed in a wall. Water leaking and spraying inside a home is every homeowner's worst nightmare. The end result from this type of catastrophe is a costly repair bill and huge inconvenience. With temperatures dropping into the freezing numbers, the likeliness of a burst pipe increases.
Surely you've heard that one way to help in the prevention of freezing pipes is to leave the faucets dripping. Moving water freezes at a lower temperature than stagnant water. As a homeowner, there are other options than leaving water dripping from all exit points to prevent a burst water pipe. By following a few easy tips, you can eliminate some key risks that could cause excessive water damage during the cold winter months.
- Do NOT turn off your heat for extended periods of time. Many homeowners will lower the temperature when they go out of town to save on energy costs. Saving on energy is a great move! On the flip side, forgetting about the potential of freezing pipes is not so great. By just adjusting your thermostat to a much lower temperature (no lower than 55 degrees), your energy costs will stay down and the home will still stay at a temperature that will help prevent the pipes from freezing. The best option is to shut off the main water to your home and drain the faucets and toilets when going out of town.
- Check for under-insulated pipes and rectify. The Department of Energy recommends taking note of what parts of your home your pipes are located. Cold zone areas, such as crawl spaces, garages and attics, are areas that are unheated and have the highest potential in creating a plumbing disaster. Make sure that the insulation surrounding the pipes is intact. A little foam insulation can make all the difference. Don't forget about "colder" areas such as unfinished basements which may also have exposed plumbing pipes that could use some insulation. One good cold snap can freeze pipes and leave you with an unwelcome surprise if they burst.
- Disconnect your garden hoses and install covers on all of the outside faucets. Better yet, just shut the water off completely to that spigot if you have access. A frozen garden hose can actually create a plumbing disaster by expanding and increasing pressure in the plumbing system. Don't forget about pools and outdoor wet kitchens that have water access.
- Have your plumbing system inspected for potential freezing risks. Lack of insulation, damaged pipes, and exposed plumbing can all pose a risk. A little thought before the plummeting temps can save you catastrophe later. In the event you find water slowing from a faucet, have that inspected immediately as it may be a frozen pipe with the potential of bursting.
- In the event of a burst pipe, turn off the water to the faucet locally or at the main water shut off. Call a plumber immediately to repair the problem. If you notice a frozen pipe that has not burst yet, do not use a torch to unfreeze. A hair dryer is a better option. Contacting your plumber is the best.
Hundreds of gallons of water can pour from a burst pipe. In the best case, you will be home to triage the emergency. That is not always the case. Prevention is key. Contact Casteel to have one of our licensed plumbers give your plumbing system a check to guard against potential plumbing disasters. In the event you do have a plumbing emergency, Casteel is available to help you resolve the issues 24/7. Call (770) 766-1657 or schedule online. Remember, it’s Just $39 Bucks for your trip charge and diagnostic!