Frozen Plumbing: Why Maintaining Your Pipes Can Prevent a Major Home Disaster

Written by  //  February 20, 2017  //  Plumbing  //  Comments Off on Frozen Plumbing: Why Maintaining Your Pipes Can Prevent a Major Home Disaster

Living in a place with cold winters means a variety of challenges for your home, especially its plumbing system. When temperatures drop well below freezing, liquid water turns into ice. A poorly maintained plumbing system may experience frozen pipes, which ultimately burst and lead to considerable damage. These tips will help you to prevent your pipes from freezing and damaging your home.

Insulating Pipes

Insulating your pipes is one of the most important actions you can take to prevent a major home disaster. You can purchase insulation that wraps around hot and cold water pipes or have your plumber do this for you. The insulation helps to keep the pipes warm enough to prevent water from freezing. Start by insulating the pipes on your home’s exterior walls first.

Installing Heating Tape or Cables

UL-approved heating tape or cables also helps to maintain your pipes and prevent them from freezing. These cables are applied to the exterior side of pipes located along your home’s perimeter walls. The tape connects to the electrical system and warms the pipes. You can turn the tape or cable on when the temperature is expected to drop well below freezing.

Plumbing Maintenance

Maintaining your pipes also helps to prevent them from freezing. Professionals, like those at The Clean Plumbers, know that once a month you can clean drain obstructions by using 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda. Pour these into each drain and plug the drain for 30 minutes. When the time is up, run hot water through the drain for five to ten minutes. This clears out obstructions. Professional plumbing maintenance such as pipe auguring also helps to clear out obstructions that increase the risk of a burst pipe.

Keep the Faucet Open

When the outdoor temperature is expected to drop way below freezing, keep your faucets open. This helps to relieve any pressure that builds up inside of the pipes. When water freezes, it expands and increases the pressure on the pipes. Keeping the faucet open maintains the proper pressure and helps to prevent the pipes from cracking open. You can even leave the tap on and allow the water to slowly trickle or drip. Keeping the water moving also maintains ideal pressure and movement within the pipes.

These four steps are simple and affordable. Preventing a frozen pipe is easier and faster than trying to clean up the aftermath. In addition to watching the weather forecast, you can take these actions to protect your home from a burst pipe.

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