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Fixing Frozen Pipes

January 17th, 2014

Plumber fixing water pipeFixing Frozen Pipes

We heard some of you had problems with water freezing in your pipes during that last cold snap. It’s important to know how to prevent your pipes from freezing when the weather gets extremely cold to prevent them from bursting. If they do burst, it’s not the end of the world, but it may cost you a bit to get it repaired.

Most people are aware of keeping the water flowing into the house by leaving on a faucet to drip overnight. It doesn’t need to be a lot, and you can put a towel in the basin to prevent the torture of hearing a dripping sound all night.

To prevent the pipes from freezing, keep your thermostat set to 55F at night. If it drops below that, your heater will turn on and keep the internal pipes warm enough.

Caulk any air leaks that are near your plumbing as well to prevent freezing problems. Cover the pipes that are outside or in very cold areas like your garage or a basement. You can use heat tape or foam insulation to keep them insulated.

Regularly check the pipes for signs of cracks or other damage. Replace the pipe immediately if you find something.

Heat up frozen pipes carefully if they have frozen. In colder regions, pipes placed closest to outer walls and ceilings could freeze if not properly insulated. Use hot rags, hot water, a blow dryer or similar heat source. Start heating at a place nearest the tap, then work backwards.

If you have a vacation home that you close up for the winter, ensure that you have fully drained all the pipes when you leave. Turn off the water at the source, and then turn on all of the taps until no more water flows out.

Disconnect all of your hoses and let the water drain out.

It’s essential to winterize your sprinkler system if you turn it off in the fall. It can be very expensive to have to replace the backflow prevention device which is the most vulnerable part of the system during a hard freeze.

When you turn off the sprinklers, you should drain all the water out of the backflow prevention device. If you don’t know how to do this, hire a professional. Then use an air compressor to push all the water out of the underground pipes.

Additionally, to specifically protect the backflow prevention device:

  1. Turn the valve handle at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Wrap the device with a towel.
  3. Then wrap everything with a plastic bag that you tape or secure in place.

Are you ready for the next cold front?

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