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How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

Frozen pipe

The onset of winter is often accompanied by picturesque landscapes, the joy of holidays, and hot chocolate mugs. However, the drop in temperature also brings along with it some unwelcome issues – frozen pipes being one of the most common headaches. At 864 Plumbing, we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we are here to help you prevent the pipe from freezing and safeguard your home from the hassles and potential damage with our burst pipe repair services.

Understanding the Issue

Before we delve into the solutions, let’s understand why pipes freeze. Water expands as it freezes, and when it does so in your pipes, it increases the internal pressure, potentially leading to burst pipes, flooding, and substantial damage to your home and belongings.

The pipes most vulnerable to freezing are those exposed to severe colds, such as outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and pipes in unheated or inadequately heated spaces like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.

Preventing Your Pipes From Freezing

The tranquillity of winter often brings with it the bitter chill, transforming the environment into a beautiful winter wonderland. However, amidst the aesthetics of the season, homeowners may face the common menace of frozen pipes. The prevention of pipe freezing is crucial to maintain the integrity of your home’s plumbing system, and it can save you from costly repairs and inconvenience.

At 864 Plumbing, we specialize in helping you prevent the pipes from freezing and save you the trouble and potential cost of dealing with a disaster. Here’s our comprehensive guide on how to safeguard your pipes this winter:

Insulate Your Pipes

Begin your prevention strategy by identifying pipes that are at risk of freezing. Once identified, insulate them using pipe sleeves, heat tape, or heat cables. All these materials can be easily found at your local hardware store. If these items aren’t available, even newspapers can provide some degree of insulation to exposed pipes.

Keep the Heat On

Whether you’re leaving home for a short period or an extended vacation, keep your thermostat set to a temperature no lower than 55°F (12°C). While this might increase your heating bill slightly, it will be far less costly than repairing damage from a burst pipe.

Allow the Faucet to Drip

If you are worried about a specific pipe freezing, allow your faucet to drip slightly. While this might seem counter-intuitive, the pressure created by the trickling water can prevent the pipes from freezing as it relieves the pressure building up inside the pipe.

Seal Cracks and Openings

Seal any cracks or openings around your windows and doors where cold air might infiltrate, paying particular attention to the areas where pipes run. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Keep Interior Doors Open

Keep doors of cabinets and pantries open, especially if they house water pipes. This will allow the warm air to circulate around the pipes and reduce the chance of freezing.

Apply Heating Tape

For pipes that are easily accessible, consider applying heating tape. It works like an electric blanket for your pipes, supplying heat directly to the pipe to keep it warm during severe cold spells. There are two types of heating tape available: self-monitoring and manual. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safety.

Use an Indoor Heater

If your pipes are in non-climate-controlled areas, such as a garage or crawl space, using a portable heater can supply the necessary warmth and prevent freezing.

While these strategies can help you prevent the pipe from freezing, it’s crucial to be prepared for any situation. Know where your main water shutoff valve is and how to operate it, should a pipe burst. Check your home insurance policy to ensure it covers damage from burst pipes.

Reach Out to Professionals

Sometimes, despite the best of your efforts, you may need professional assistance to ensure your home’s plumbing is ready to weather the winter months. If you’re unsure about any aspect of your pipe insulation or if your pipes have previously frozen, it’s a good idea to call in a professional plumber for an inspection and consultation.

At 864 Plumbing, we’re dedicated to ensuring the comfort and safety of your home. With our expert services and comprehensive knowledge, we can guide you through the process of winterizing your plumbing system. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to schedule an appointment. 

Remember, taking the time to properly prepare your home for winter can save you from a great deal of trouble and unwanted expenses. Be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to the safety of your home. Stay warm, and keep those pipes flowing freely!

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