How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing

By Thornton Plumbing and Heating

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As winter approaches in Salt Lake City, it’s critical to understand how to keep pipes from freezing. When water freezes in your pipes, perhaps due to sudden decreases in outside temperatures, inadequate insulation, or a thermostat set too low, the volume swells, putting pressure on the pipe from the inside. It can result in a burst pipe, but even a minor break can lead to costly water and plumbing damage.

This tutorial will teach you how to prevent pipes from freezing, what to do if you fear that your pipes have entirely frozen or even just a tiny bit of ice in them, and how to defrost frozen pipes.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

When understanding how to protect pipes from freezing in the first place, there are several actions you may take.

  • Even if your area does not frequently experience harsh freeze conditions, use pipe insulation to insulate pipes in the attic and crawl space. You may also use heat tape or heat wires with thermostat control to wrap pipes. Your house will determine which pipe insulation is best for you. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions before installing.
  • Seal or caulk any cracks that may allow cold air to enter the house, particularly where pipes run from inside to outside the house, such as dryer vents or water pipes.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep your pipes from freezing outside. Disconnect your garden hoses while you prepare your home for the winter.
  • Make sure any outside faucets with shut-off valves are stopped and the faucets are emptied. During the winter, you may additionally protect them by utilizing faucet covers.
  • If winter weather arrives and temperatures begin to drop, start a modest trickle of both hot and cold water in the kitchen, bath, laundry room, and other taps throughout the house. All that is required to keep water circulating through the system and prevent frozen pipes is a modest water trickle.

If you’ll be gone for more than a few days, notify a trusted neighbor and ask them to check on you occasionally to ensure that the procedures you took to prevent frozen pipes succeeded and that nothing has burst.

If You Discover Frozen Pipes

  • Turn on the water supply. You may have a frozen pipe if there is only a drip or trickle of water.
  • Examine the water supply lines, noting any particularly cold locations. Look closely to check whether there are any line breaks.
  • Switch off the primary water supply to the home if you locate any damaged pipes. Then, as soon as possible, contact a qualified plumber for help.

Thaw Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes must be thawed as soon as possible and in a safe manner. Here are some suggestions for thawing pipes that are both exposed and enclosed.

  • Firstly, turn on the affected pipe’s faucet. The running water will aid in the melting of the ice.

Covering exposed pipes with a heat source, in particular, will melt the ice within. It can be accomplished in a variety of ways:

  • Put a heating pad around the pipe and set the temperature to high.
  • Direct a high-powered hairdryer towards the pipe. At a time, move the air back and forth and around the pipe in 12 to 16-inch lengths.
  • Wrap the pipe with moistened, warm cloths. These wraps should be changed regularly since they lose heat to the pipe.
  • Place a space heater near a piece of the pipe to circulate warm air. As required, move the heat source to various portions and repeat until the pipes have thawed and the water pressure has returned to normal.

Try these tips for enclosed pipes, whether they’re in a wall or a tricky location:

  • Increase the temperature in your home. The warmer temperatures may aid in the thawing of pipes installed within walls.
  • Cut a portion of the wall out if necessary to gain access to the pipe. Then, for exposed pipelines, utilize any of the procedures listed above.

Tip: To defrost a pipe, never use intense heat or open flames, such as a heat gun or a blow torch. It can pose a fire danger as well as significant pipe damage.

Applying a few steps and choosing the best pipe insulation to prevent freezing, as well as employing correct thawing procedures, may make learning how to prevent pipes from freezing very simple.

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