Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes & How to Fix Them

Winters are finally here! It’s that time of the year when you make all the arrangements in advance to keep yourself warm inside your home. However, while preparing for winters you often neglect the freezing pipes which can cause serious trouble in days to come.

When the temperature plummets, your pipes become vulnerable to freezing and bursting. The pipes located in unheated interior spaces like basements, attics, and garages are more at the risk of freezing. But that doesn’t mean pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can’t freeze. As the water inside your pipes freezes, it turns into ice which expands. This exerts pressure inside the pipes that lead to cracks formation and ultimately bursting pipes when they defrost.

During frigid weather, flooded basement as a result of burst pipes is a common cause of property damage. For this reason, once the temperature starts dropping outside, it’s necessary to take measures inside to keep water running. In this post, we’ve compiled together the tips to prevent frozen pipes, as well as the ways to thaw them if they freeze anyway.

 

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

To beat the freeze, here are some easy tips to follow.

  • It is recommended that before mercury dips to freezing point, turn off the outside water supply.
  • Find out your water shut-off valve and make everyone in the house know how to shut it off.
  • Make every possible effort to avoid entry of cold air through your dryer vent, electrical wiring, windows, and doors.
  • If your water supply line is in the garage, keep the garage door closed.
  • To prevent the water inside the pipes from freezing, you may turn on a cold water tap and run a pencil-thin stream of water in the lowest point of the house.
  • As a precaution, drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze such as sprinkler water supply lines.
  • Though you might want to minimize your heating bill but try keeping the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home.
  • To make warm air circulate around the plumbing, open the doors and cabinets of kitchen, laundry room and bathroom.
  • The pipes that are more vulnerable to freezing need more attention. Place a 60-watt bulb in such areas.

 

Tips to Fix or Thaw Frozen Pipes

If the water stops coming out of your faucet when you turn it on, maybe pipes are frozen. If your pipes are frozen, you may either call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes or do it yourself. If you attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself, keep the following tips in mind.

 

  • Turn off the water shut-off valve and drain the water left inside the pipes by turning on a cold water faucet in the basement or the lowest point of the house.
  • To defrost pipes, apply heat to it by either wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe or using a hairdryer. You may also use the old-fashioned way of wrapping towels soaked in hot water. However, avoid using a blowtorch, propane heaters, or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes.
  • Before situation goes out of control and you’re at risk of bursting your pipes, check for cracks and leaks in the pipes and call a professional for help.
  • In case your pipes burst and basement gets flooded, you’ll need to safely remove the water and any mold that may have grown behind the walls, floors or ceilings. In such a situation, it’s necessary to call a water damage restoration service. The professionals will safely remove water, clean and disinfect the area, as well as repair your space.