Prepping for A Freeze.
When the winter chill sets in, it’s crucial to safeguard your plumbing from the potentially costly consequences of freezing pipes. The pipes most susceptible to freezing are those exposed to severe cold, such as outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes. Additionally, pipes located in unheated interior areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or within kitchen cabinets are at risk. Here are some practical steps to help you prepare for the cold weather:
1. Open Cabinets
To allow warmer air to circulate around your plumbing, consider opening the cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom. While doing so, ensure that any potentially harmful cleaners and household chemicals are moved out of the reach of children.
2. Consistent Thermostat Setting
Maintain a consistent temperature on your thermostat both during the day and at night. While temporarily suspending lower nighttime temperatures may result in a slightly higher heating bill, it can prevent the more significant expense of repairing burst pipes.
3. Lower When Away
If you plan to be away during cold weather, keep your home’s heating system set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps prevent freezing within your water supply lines and pipes.
Additional Recommendations to Prevent Freezing:
– Install Pipe Insulation
Consider using pipe insulation, pipe sleeves, UL-listed heat tape, heat cable, or similar materials on exposed water pipes. These items are typically available at your local hardware store. Carefully wrap your pipes, ensuring that ends are tightly butted, and joints are securely taped. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Even a layer of newspaper can provide some insulation and protection to exposed pipes, with just 1/4″ of newspaper offering significant protection against freezing temperatures.
– Drain Pool Pumping Equipment
Ensure that any water within your pool equipment components is properly drained. Following the manufacturer’s or installer’s directions is essential to prevent potential harm to your system caused by freezing.
– Shut Down Sprinkler Systems
Turn off automatic timers and remove any water from your sprinkler system. Don’t forget to drain and store outdoor hoses, and close the inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs.
– Inspect Around Your Home
Examine areas where water supply lines are located in unheated spaces, such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Make sure to insulate both hot and cold water pipes in these areas, as hot water supply lines can also freeze if the water is stagnant and the pipe temperature drops.
– Seal Off Access Points
Winter winds can quickly freeze exposed water pipes through unnoticed openings. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines inside. Ensure that furnace and water heater air vents remain unobstructed.
What to Do If a Pipe Freezes:
If you encounter a frozen pipe, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Here are some steps to follow:
– Contact a licensed plumber for assistance in thawing or making necessary repairs. If you need a good recommendation, call us at 817-888-8827 and we’ll find the right plumber for your area.
– If the pipe has not burst, attempt to thaw it out using an electric heating pad, hairdryer, or a towel soaked in hot water. Apply heat gradually, moving it toward the coldest spot on the pipes. Avoid concentrating heat in one area, as ice cracking can damage the line.
– Turn on the faucet and let it run until the pipe is thawed and water pressure returns to normal. Avoid using a blowtorch or open-flame devices, as they pose fire and carbon monoxide risks.
If a frozen pipe bursts and causes flooding in your home:
– Shut off the water supply at the main shut-off valve.
– Call us at 817-888-8827 and we can help dry-out your home and find the best plumber for your area.
– Do not turn the water back on until the pipe has been repaired.
If you require emergency water shutoff assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service department. 817-888-8827
Stay warm and worry-free this winter!