Posted: December 9, 2014 2:43 pm
If you are lucky, you have never had to deal with frozen pipes in your home or business. As the official start of winter quickly approaches, the more likely we may experience the extreme cold temperatures that can cause frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can result in just a simple annoyance that a particular faucet, shower or toilet is not operational until the frozen water inside the pipe melts. When water freezes inside a pipe it expands, however, so in more severe cases the ice in the pipes can cause the pipe to split and burst which often results in flooding and/or costly water damage.
To help avoid issues with frozen pipes in your residence or place of work, here are some helpful tips:
- Turn off water to outside water faucets and if possible, drain the water from the pipes.
- When temperatures are predicted below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, consider taking precautions in those areas that are more prone to have pipes freeze. Pipes on outside walls are most susceptible to freezing as they are closer to the colder outside air. Identify these areas in your home or office keep them in mind when the temperatures fall to extreme cold ranges.
- For those pipes you are concerned might freeze, allowing the water to drip out of the faucet will reduce the chance of freezing as moving water is less likely to freeze.
- Open closets, cupboards, crawl space doors, etc. where pipes may freeze to allow the warmer room air to circulate into these areas freely.
- Make sure your thermostat does not allow the inside temperature to drop below 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, suspend any automatic timers that allow the furnace to drop the temperature down to cooler temperatures at night and keep the house or office warmer overall on those cold nights where extreme cold may affect your pipes.
- You will know a pipe has frozen if little or no water is running from the faucet, shower, etc.
- Find ways to get warmer air into the areas of the frozen pipes to encourage the melting of the ice. A hair dryer or small space heater can also be used, with caution (especially around flammable liquid or materials), to thaw the frozen section of the pipe, if you are able to identify what area is frozen.
- In some cases the pipe will break where the ice freezes solid. If you notice a crack or break in the pipe, turn off your water source before any thawing takes place to prevent flooding and water damage.
- If water is flowing from a broken or cracked pipe, call H. Jack’s Plumbing any time of the day or night to have one of our experienced plumbers replace the pipe and get any leaks under control to prevent as much damage as possible.
For more information on how to prevent and deal with frozen pipes in your home or business, refer to this very thorough article provided by the American Red Cross.