Peerless Guide to Frozen Pipes
Now that the frozen winter weather has come to Hampton Roads, we have more to worry about than just staying home. When the temperature dips below freezing we have to contend with than just keeping warm.Because our climate is generally temperate, many homes and building do not have a lot of insulation. In addition many local homes are build with the pipes located outside of what interior insulation there is. So when the temperature dips into the 20’s and teens or lower we are prone to issues with frozen pipes.
Frozen pipes are not just inconvenient due to lack of water service. They can lead to terrible leaks and even burst pipes once the water thaws. The best way to avoid the problems of frozen pipes is prevention. Here are some great tips to help prevent frozen pipes.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors.
- Close inside valves supplying outdoor hoses. Once the indoor valve is off, keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Insulate any pipes that may be in unheated areas of your home.
- Keep garage doors closed.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
- Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up
- Set interior temperature to at least 60° F, even if the house is vacant.
- Learn the location of the main water valve to the house as well as the valve to the water heater. Make sure you have the proper tools and know how to cut off the water supply in case of a burst pipe.
Even after taking these measures and you turn on a faucet and nothing or only a trickle comes out, you may have frozen pipes. Here are some measures you can take.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. Do not use any electric devices around any leaking pipes or around standing water.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
- If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
If despite all your best efforts, a pipe bursts:
- Shut off water at the main valve.
- If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
- Call a plumber. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access.
- Call Peerless! Peerless Restoration is licensed, insurance, and certified in Water Damage Restoration. We specialize in Water Extraction and Water Damage Repair. We have 24-hour emergency service and are preferred vendors of most insurance companies.
We hope that you make it through the winter without incident. However, if temperatures drop and your precautions fail to prevent water leaks or water pipe ruptures Peerless is there for you.
Do you have a burst or leaking pipe? We are here for you 24/7
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