As winter continues to creep up on several areas of the United States, many homeowners are taking steps to winterize their home. One way to do this is by checking your pipes to make sure they will not freeze and burst in the winter months. A burst pipe can lead to a serious problem as it could flood an entire basement in a matter of minutes, leading to an expensive cleanup process.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
There are several things homeowners can do to prevent their pipes from freezing. Here are some steps you need to follow to keep the pipes from freezing:
- Drain water from all exterior water lines, pools, and sprinkler systems. Removing the water from all exterior pipes is a great way to ensure water will not freeze and burst in the pipes, causing massive destruction to the home.
- Close outdoor hose bibs to prevent water from getting inside the home and freezing it. Keeping the exterior water valve free of water will keep the water from freezing in the pipe, which can burst a pipe.
- Remove all water supplies from the exterior of the home. Check around the home for areas in the home where pipes are exposed to cold air. The basement, garage, and under the kitchen sink are all areas that are prone to pipes that can freeze and burst. Insulate the pipes that are found in areas where the cold air can lead to freezing. Open the doors under the kitchen or in the basement to allow warmer air to keep these areas warmer and prevent water from freezing in the pipes.
- Allow the water to slowly drop from a basement faucet to keep water from freezing. A slow flow of water limits the probability of freezing water within the pipes. This is beneficial when the water is immensely cold outside as it can lead to serious freezing.
How to Thaw a Frozen Pipe
If a pipe becomes frozen, how can you unfreeze it without causing it to burst? The best way to unfreeze a pipe is by gently warming it up. Open the doors to the kitchen cabinets or the basement where the pipe is frozen. Allow the warm air to circulate around the plumbing to gently warm the pipe. Never allow the temperature to drop below 55 degrees as it can easily cause frozen pipes. Gently turn on a slow flow of water to the pipe as it will start to freely flow as it heats up. Use heating pads on the pipes to heat the frozen water. If you cannot find the frozen section, call a professional plumber to make proper repairs to the pipes before it leads to a burst pipe and flooding.
Frozen pipes are just one of the potential wintertime plagues your pipes will have to overcome this winter. Make sure your home’s plumbing is prepared with help from the Pittsburgh plumbing experts at Mister Sewer. From piping, plumbing, sewer drains and more, Mister Sewer will help make sure your home is ready for the winter ahead.