Frozen Pipes - Prevention and Maintenance
Since becoming home owners in April of 2016 we've learned quickly the effects that weather has on our homes. The main thing we all want to do as homeowners is to maintain our homes; keeping them updated and repaired.
It's well known that pipes can freeze during cold streams of weather and extreme conditions, leaving us struggling to get the water supply we need. Last winter we faced this reality in Texas. We had a deep freeze and our outdoor pipe froze, and actually broke. In most cases it isn't necessary to call your nearest Plumbing company, and there is much we can do to prevent this from happening. We did call a Plumber since our home was under warranty, but after watching what he did to fix the issue, we realized it wasn't too much to handle if it were to happen again.
The main thing you can do to stop the pipes from freezing is to expose them to warmer air. You can do this by shutting your garage door if the water supply runs through there, and you can also make sure that the pipes in your kitchen and bathroom are surrounded by warmth from the room. Leave cabinets open to expose the pipes under your sinks to warm air.
Set the thermostat to a decent temperature during the night so that your house doesn’t get too cold. If you go away on vacation, make sure that the heating stays at a moderate temperature.
Drain hoses which are stored outdoors to make sure the water inside doesn’t freeze, and keep the outside valve open to allow water to expand without breaking the pipes. Purchase outdoor faucet covers to insulate the hose bibs.
Thawing frozen pipes...
If you are too late and fail to protect your pipes there are several ways you can apply heat to your pipes. You can use a hairdryer, an electrical heating pad, towels soaked in hot water and other gentle forms of heat such as resting a hot water bottle against the pipe. Never use an open flame against your pipes because this can damage your pipes. Keep applying heat until your water is flowing again. If the area of frozen pipe is difficult to find or hard to access, you will have to call out a plumber to help you deal with the problem. Make sure you check every tap in the house to ensure there aren’t multiple frozen spots around your home.
(Think about changing the location of exposed pipes to save the hassle in the future.)
*This is a collaborative post.