During the winter, the extreme cold weather causes the water to freeze and expand in the pipes. These frozen pipes can’t contain the pressure, and they will burst in the weaker parts eventually.
Pipes that are exposed and located in unheated areas are more prone to breaking. Here are some pipe bursting prevention tips to save you from serious and expensive repairs:
Keep the Water Running
Turn on one or two faucets just enough to release a slow and steady stream of water. This will prevent freezing and pressure buildup because water is continuously flowing through the pipes.
Insulate Your Pipes
Pipes are usually at places without proper insulation, such as basements, attics, and cabinets. Maintaining a higher temperature in these areas will protect your pipes. Install pipe sleeves, heat tapes, or heat cables to keep exposed pipes from freezing.
Monitor Your Home’s Temperature
If you have thermometers installed in your home, check them regularly. Do not allow the temperature to drop below 55°F. You can also keep the interior doors and kitchen and bathroom cabinets open to let the heat circulate the entire house and reach unheated areas.
When you’re going out of town for the holidays, turning the heat off will not save you a lot of money. Keeping the heat on reduces the possibility of bursting pipes. Repairing broken pipes is more costly and inconvenient than paying for a higher heating bill during the winter.
Thaw Frozen Pipes
Turn on your faucet. If only a trickle comes out, chances are the pipe is already frozen. Before it completely bursts, you can melt the frozen area by following the steps below:
- Keep the faucet turned on because running water will help unfreeze the pipe.
- Apply heat to the affected area by using a hair dryer or wrapping the pipe with towels soaked in hot water or an electric heating pad. Do not use open-flame devices like blowtorches.
- Continue until full water pressure comes back.
Contact a Plumbing Expert
If you’re having a hard time locating the affected pipes, you can always call a plumbing expert to assist you. A plumber can also detect worn-out or rusty pipes and help you prevent them from bursting.
At HJ Pertzborn Plumbing & Fire Protection, our team of professionals will gladly provide you with the plumbing services you need during the holidays. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment.