Your Plumbing And Winter Ė How To Keep Your Pipes Safe
Frozen pipes are a nightmare for any home's plumbing and cost thousands of dollars to repair and replace. Find out how to prevent your plumbing from freezing as well as what to do if you find yourself in this precarious situation.
Your homeís plumbing is vital to the comfort, safety and well-being of your family. Your pipes provide your drinking and cooking water and allow you to bathe. You couldnít go long without them. But if you donít take care of them in the winter, you might have to.
Donít take the risk. Protect your plumbing from freezing before itís too late.
Pipes that are exposed to cold, winter weather are capable of freezing at any point once the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and remains there for a few hoursí time.
If you live in a climate where the temperature dips below this level often, you should make sure each pipe is insulated and consistently check to ensure they have not been compromised. If you live in a warmer climate where cold weather is more rare, your pipes are likely not insulated and it is up to you to protect them.
When plumbing freezes, the water inside expands as it becomes ice and can produce thousands of pounds of pressure, which can easily burst through metal or plastic piping. Once this happens, hundreds of gallons of water can pour into your home. The most common locations where this often occurs are on outside walls or in an attic or basement not heated with the rest of the house.
If you know cold weather is approaching, you can take precautionary action by opening all of the faucets in your house just slightly, letting them trickle even the smallest amount. This allows water to flow and keeps it from remaining stagnant and prone to becoming frozen. You can also wrap a pipe with tape or other insulating material. Products to prevent freezing are also available at most hardware and home improvement stores.
If you discover that your faucet does not produce any water once you turn it on, this means you may already have a frozen pipe on your hands and you need to act quickly. You should leave the faucet on and attempt to locate where the freeze has occurred. Once you find it, you need to thaw it.
If the trouble spot is located inside, you may be able to get away with simply turning up the main heating source in the room, but you may need to take more drastic action to speed up the process. Using a hair dryer, heat lamp or other direct heat source works well. You should avoid using an open flame such as a blow torch, as this can do damage to your plumbing.
If your pipes do burst, you will want to call a plumber immediately. The longer you wait, the potential for further damage increases, as does the potential cost of repairs.
Donít leave the safety of your plumbing to chance. Be proactive and endure the small headaches of taking precautionary measures now to avoid the big headache that the alternative may lead to later.
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In Dallas, plumbing problems can be taken care of by an array of dedicated and competent professionals. Learn more here: http://www.angieslist.com/.