Plumbing 101: How You Can Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

A home’s plumbing system is crucial because it’s what brings water. It will be quite troublesome to get it back up and running again if it gets damaged. Many different things can affect your plumbing system, but one of the arguably worse ones are frozen pipes.

Frozen water pipes are a problem in cold and warmer climates, affecting families each winter. It can occur in homes with both plastic and copper pipes. If your pipes freeze, they will expand, and ultimately they will burst. This can cause water damage and the growth of mold and mildew, which will be a lot of hassle to rectify. Frozen pipes are not just a problem during the winter. It can also happen during the summer, depending on what part of the country you’re in and if you’re using a lot of water.

Luckily, there are сertain steps you can take to ensure your plumbing system stays in good shape and help prevent frozen pipes. Read on below to learn more.

Tips to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

There are three leading causes of frozen pipes: poor insulation, radical temperature changes, and low setting of thermostats. To combat these issues, you can do the following:

Insulate Your Pipes

Insulating your home’s pipes is perhaps the easiest way to help protect them from freezing. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing, so insulation is most effective when used on these pipes. It also helps protect your pipes better if you use more of it, so you can never go wrong with too much insulation.

Utilize Heat Tapes or Heat Cables

You can use heat tape or heat cables by wrapping them around your pipes. It’s recommended that you get products approved by an independent testing organization, and they should only be used for the intended installation (interior or exterior). Just remember to follow the manufacturer’s installation and operating instructions.

Seal Every Leak 

Obviously, leaks can allow air inside your pipes, which causes freezing. You can use different products to seal leaks, such as caulk or insulation.

Secure Outdoor Valves  

Before winter hits, you must disconnect garden hoses and turn off any indoor valves that lead to faucets outside. This cuts off the water flow shortly after leaving the house, reducing the chance of freezing in the pipes outdoors.

Adjust The Thermostat 

Setting your thermostat to the same temperature for both day and night can reduce the risk of frozen pipes. This also helps your furnace because it reduces the strain during extreme cold.

What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

If you notice your pipes freezing, there are solutions that you can use. These are:

  • If your pipes have already burst, shut off your water supply to prevent further damage. You should also leave the water faucets on.
  • You can use a hairdryer as a heat source to thaw your pipes by starting from the section close to the faucet to the coldest. Just be sure not to stand on any water to avoid electrocution. 
  • As much as possible, you should not use fire to thaw your pipes. Using open flames creates a fire hazard, and believe us when we tell you: frozen pipes are preferable to a burned-down house.

Conclusion

Freezing pipes can be a daunting thought, but there are ways to avoid them. If all else fails and it comes to a point where your pipes burst, contact a plumber to rectify the problems in your plumbing system.

Professor Plumb provides top-quality plumbing services in Columbiana, AL. We understand that plumbing issues can arise at any given moment, which is why our services are available 24/7. Contact us today to learn more!