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Preventing And Dealing With Frozen Pipes

November 17, 2015

Before the real deep freeze of winter sets in, here are tips for preventing frozen pipes and dealing with pipes that do freeze.

How to prevent frozen water pipes:

  • Pipes that have frozen in the past are obvious candidates for special attention. So are outside hose connections, indoor pipes close to an outside wall, pipes in a cold part of your house and pipes exposed to the cold from below – a crawl space under your house, for example. Make sure all these pipes are protected from the cold.frozen-pipes
  • Insulate areas where vulnerable pipes are located. But keep in mind insulation alone won’t prevent pipes from freezing if they’re too exposed to the elements or the insulation is inadequate.
  • When insulation isn’t enough, consider pipe wrappings embedded with electrical coils (heat tape) that provide an outside source of heat. But they won’t work if you forget to plug them in when a cold front hits or if there’s a power outage, which can occur during severe weather. So be sure to use the kind with a built in thermostat so you can keep them plugged in all winter.
  • Remove hoses from outside yard faucets. The faucets can’t drain properly with a hose attached and will freeze and break if the hose is left attached
  • During severe cold weather, resist the urge to lower your thermostat to save money while you are gone for the day. The dollar or so you save could cost you thousands of dollars in property damage caused by frozen burst water pipes. Instead, turn your heat up a bit and open all the doors to interior rooms to allow the heat to circulate throughout your home. Next open the doors to kitchen and bathroom cabinets under your sinks so heat from the room will help warm the pipes.
  • Running water doesn’t freeze very readily. During severe cold weather, keep a stream of water trickling out of faucets or spouts attached to vulnerable pipes.
  • If you have a sprinkler system, drain all outdoor pipes and turn off the water supply to the system. A contractor can perform this work for you and blow out the sprinkler-system pipes with air if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself.
  • Know where your main water emergency shut-off valve is located. Knowing where this valve is located and how to use it to shut off the water to your home, can save you untold property damage and grief if a pipe should freeze and burst in your home. If you are unsure of where this valve is or how to use it contact us and we will tag it for you and teach you how it works.

What to do if a pipe freezes:

  • To prevent a frozen pipe from bursting, open the faucet it supplies with water. Then add heat to the area where the pipe is located. Sometimes you can defrost a frozen pipe with an electric hair dryer. For safety, be sure the dryer is grounded and never hold the pipe while operating an electrical appliance.
  • Turn off the water supply to that line. If you use a boiler for heating, it must have a continual water supply to operate; so don’t turn off the main household supply, just the valve leading to the frozen line. If you’re unsure how to do this call a contractor.
  • If a pipe does burst, immediately turn off the water to your home. Every home has a main water shut off valve. Once you shut off this valve it will stop incoming water from causing additional damage to your property.
  • Know where your main water emergency shut-off valve is located. Knowing where this valve is located and how to use it to shut off the water to your home, can save you untold property damage and grief if a pipe should freeze and burst in your home. If you are unsure of where this valve is or how to use it contact us and we will tag it for you and teach you how it works.

If you need to repair or replace old pipes in your home, call Applewood today to speak to a specialist or to schedule an appointment.

 

Call  303-328-3060

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