Winter has fully settled in on us here in the United States. Here in New York we know all too well the chill that winter can bring on any given day. The winter brings with it the beautiful snow and the wonderful holiday months where we get to spend extra time with family and friends. It can also bring with it frozen pipes. If you have ever had to deal with frozen pipes you know that you would like to avoid it all costs in the future. The Original $49.95 Plumber deals with frozen pipes on a regular basis. We would like to take some time today to talk to you about why pipes freeze and how to prevent it from happening to you.
How Long Does it Take for Pipes to Freeze & Burst
Pipes are installed so that the water needed to run our houses can run through them to help us live comfortably. Water has the unique property of expanding when it freezes. If the water inside your pipes freezes it will expand. This puts you at risk for breaking pipes. Most of the time the pipes that freeze are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines; water supply pipes in unheated interior areas of your home like basements, crawl spaces, attic, and garages; and pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation. Under the right conditions, pipes can freeze and burst in just a couple of hours!
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
There are a few great things that you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing.
– First Keep Your Heat on! Many people think that if they are going out of town for an extended period of time during the winter that they should turn their heat off. While turning your heat off can save you money it can also make your house extremely cold. Keeping your heat on will keep your house warmer which will keep your pipes warmer as well. You do not have to keep the heat on as high as you would if you were living in the house but you should keep it on.
– Let Faucets Drip Cold Water. If you know that the temperatures are going to drop below freezing you can let your faucets drip to help prevent your pipes from freezing. When pipes freeze it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that cause your pipes to burst. If you let a small drip continue in your faucets it will help prevent this pressure from building up. If your faucet has one pipe turn the faucet to drip warm water. If your faucet has two pipes turn both the cold and the hot water on.
– Keep Bathroom & Kitchen Cabinet Doors Open. Keeping your interior doors open will also help prevent your pipes from bursting. If you open your cabinet doors where there are pipes located open as well as the interior doors the heat from your home will help keep the pipes under the counters warm in addition to keeping your house nice and warm.
– Home Sealing Around Pipes. Many times the holes around where pipes run through walls or floors develop gaps over time. You will want to seal up those cracks and holes. You can use a caulk or foam spray insulation to do this. This will make it so that the cold air from outside does not get in and make the pipes inside your home any colder than necessary.
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Hopefully following these tips will prevent your pipes from freezing this winter. If you end up with frozen pipes still you will want to get them repaired as soon as possible. Give us a call here at The Original $49.95 Plumber and we can come out as fast as we can and get your water flowing properly again! Contact us today.