A Quick Guide to Prevent Frozen Pipes

By Thornton Plumbing and Heating

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Frozen pipes are every homeowner’s worst nightmare. It’s a tedious job to tidy up that takes a lot of time and solving the situation can be stressful. The last thing you want is to have this problem with absolutely no knowledge of what to do.

We’re going to give you all the information you need to quickly and effectively prevent and solve frozen pipes.

Freezing temperatures can cause interior pipes to Freeze

The pipes outside your home aren’t the only ones that can freeze. If the temperatures within your home and outside are sub-zero, this might cause frozen pipes.

Frozen pipes are the most common reason for property damage during extreme winter weather. If the region you live in experiences a lot of severely cold weather, be sure to seal all the openings in your homes, such as doors and windows. You need to prevent as much cold air from flowing into your home as possible.

This goes especially for areas that are not as heated as other parts of your home, such as your basement or attic. The best and long-term solution for this problem is pipe insulation.

Pipe insulation is a very economical solution, it’s proven to work, and it will save you a lot of grief.

How To Keep Your Pipes Safe Against The Freeze

If you feel the temperature outside drop, it’s time to ensure your pipes don’t freeze and your water still flows.

These are the best tips on how to do this:

  1. Leave your faucets on: This may go against water conservation, but doing this will save you both time, money, and the risk of severe home damage. You don’t have to leave all the faucets running, but essentially, ones that are fed by the pipes at risk. Using this method will prevent ice blocks from forming, encouraging water to flow freely.
  2. Seal any openings or cracks: Thoroughly examine the interior and exterior of your home for any openings. Be sure to look where plugs are connected to the wall and around the foundation of your home. Sealing these openings will better insulate your home as it prevents cold drafts from entering.
  3. Don’t change your thermostat: It’s common to change the temperature of your thermostat to save on your heating bill. But this is not a good idea. Consistent temperatures will prevent ice blockage in your pipes. A higher heating bill is better than burst pipes.
  4. Keep your interior doors open: This keeps airflow and temperature consistent throughout your home. Also, keeping all the interior doors open promotes the circulation of warm air.
  5. Don’t keep garage doors open: Garages are generally cold enough as it is. You don’t want this room getting any colder in extreme winter temperatures. If the overall temperature of your garage drops, your pipes might freeze.
  6. Apply Heating tape to the pipes: Heating tape will help pipes keep heat. You can apply heating tape to exterior or accessible pipes. It is a great idea to use heating tape on pipes in colder rooms like basements.
  7. Keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open: This promotes warm air to circulate around the plumbing. It will prevent ice blockages or built-up pressure in your pipes. If it gets colder in the evening, leaving your cabinets open will prevent frozen pipes.
  8. Keep a heater turned on: Planning to go away but worried about your pipes freezing? Simply leave your heater turned on to solve this. This may increase your heating bill, but you won’t return home to frozen pipes.
  9. Get your pipes insulated: I’ve already mentioned that getting your pipes insulated is an affordable, long-term solution. Pipe insulation will prevent your pipes from freezing, and it’s easily sourced.

How To Thaw Frozen Pipes

Worst-case scenario: Your pipes are frozen, what then?

Well, first, don’t panic. If you panic, it won’t help you solve the problem. Second, make sure your pipes are frozen. You’ll know they’re frozen if the temperature has been bitterly cold, and you open a faucet, and water is slowly trickling out of it.

Be very careful when you thaw frozen pipes because if any of the pipes have already burst, water will gush into your home. In this situation, you need to turn off the water completely. You can turn it off at the main shutoff valve at your water meter or where the water line enters the house.

If your water is still flowing, meaning your pipes haven’t burst, you can thaw your pipes.

Here are fantastic tips on how to thaw frozen pipes:

  1. Turn on the faucet: Turning on the faucets that are fed by any frozen pipes will help relieve ice blockage as this encourages water to flow.
  2. Use fans: You can use fans to blow heat into colder rooms and help warm air circulate.
  3. Apply heat to the frozen pipe: Cover the frozen pipes in electric heating pads, blankets, or boiling water-soaked towels. You can also use a hairdryer to direct heat onto the frozen pipes. Never use an open flame, as this can be very dangerous.
  4. Leave doors open: If there are any exposed pipes in the rooms of your house, leave those doors open. This will help heat circulate around the frozen pipes.
  5. Use a space heater: You can quickly add more heat to an area by using a space heater. It’s not recommended to use in the bathroom, but if you need it, take precautionary methods such as not using an extension cord.
  6. Call a professional plumber: If the situation persists, escalates, or you can’t reach or locate the frozen pipe, then definitely call a plumber.

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