Learn How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
As a plumber in Charlotte NC, Dave Parker, owner of E.R. Plumbing Services, knows a lot about frozen pipes. After all, houses in the South are not built to handle the cold temps that inevitably hit us for a few days each year. During these deep dips in temperatures, E.R. Plumbing Services is flooded with calls from homeowners experiencing frozen pipes, or worse, pipes that have burst because the water inside the pipes expanded when it froze and now the pipe is leaking.
In many cases, serious water damage results because the pipes burst while the owner is off at work or on vacation. Dependent on where the pipe bursts, water damage can be quite extensive and costly.
That’s why E.R. Plumbing Services provides plenty of information on how to prevent pipes from freezing and how to properly thaw pipes if they do freeze. We are happy to help out, but we always like to try to protect our customers from costly damage whenever possible by providing preventative information and instruction.
Steps to Avoid Frozen Pipes
The following are steps you will want to take to prevent pipes from freezing and to protect your home.
Know Where Exposed Pipes Are
Do you know where you’ve got exposed pipes? Most vulnerable areas are: the attic, the crawl space, the basement, kitchen cabinets and the garage. Perform a thorough audit of your pipes to see where you might need to insulate. Note the temperature differences in these areas as you examine them; that temperature difference (from inside the center of your home) will be more exaggerated on cold nights.
Take the Time to Insulate Pipes
You may think it’s an unnecessary hassle, but trust us: we are flooded with calls from homeowners with frozen and burst pipes every winter. Take half of a Saturday to pick up some foam insulation (tubes) and to wrap up the exposed pipes. (Click here for detailed instructions on how to insulate pipes.) Insulate both hot and cold water pipes.
Open Up Cabinet Doors
On cold nights, open cabinet doors under sinks and by appliances so that the heat from your house keeps the pipes from freezing. You might not think this will do anything, but it really does help. Put your hand inside the cabinet and you’ll feel the temperature difference, especially in basement and garage cabinets.
Run a Trickle of Water
If it’s going to be a particularly cold night or you are going to leave town and you know temps will dip, leave a trickle of water running while you’re gone. Yes, you’re wasting water, but it’s much less water than you’d waste if your pipes burst!
Winterize Outdoor Water Sources
If you have a swimming pool, an irrigation system or any other outdoor mechanism that uses water, be sure to drain supply lines and to follow winterizing procedures as described in the manufacturer’s directions. Don’t put antifreeze into the lines; it is dangerous for wildlife and pets.
Drain and store hoses. Locate and close inside water valves that supply outdoor hose bibs, and then drain the outside hose bibs. Leave the outside valve open so that any remaining water that may expand will do so without breaking your pipes.
Keep Garage Doors Closed
If you usually crack your garage door, make sure it stays closed during very cold nights to protect pipes in the garage.
Install Heat Tape or a Heat Lamp
If you’ve got vulnerable pipes in a well or basement, you may want to invest in either heat tape or a reflective heat lamp to ensure your well or vulnerable pipes don’t freeze. Be careful to following installation instructions to avoid a fire hazard.
Leave the Heat On
Many people turn the heat off when they go out of town. Set the heat to 55 degrees or higher to prevent freezing, and open all cabinet doors in the house (that house pipes) before you leave.
Insulate Problem Areas
If you’ve dealt with frozen or burst pipes in the past, consider insulating vulnerable areas such as your attic, storage space, or garage. Insulation will protect your pipes from future problems and will probably improve your home’s ability to stay warm since less heat will escape all winter long.
Need a Plumber in Charlotte NC to Help You Insulate Pipes or Deal With Frozen Pipes?
As experienced plumbers in Charlotte NC that have been in business since 1997 (and our owner has over 30 years of plumbing experience), we know how to prevent frozen pipes and help you out if you have frozen or burst pipes. Give us a call at 704-269-1066 or click here to use our online contact form. We’re committed to providing top notch plumbing service at an affordable price, and we invest time in our relationships with our customers. Our motto is “Serviced Once, Client for Life!” That means we are more interested in your customer satisfaction than in making a quick sale.
Want to find out what quality plumbing service is like? Give us a call and find out!