Freezing Pipes: 6 Steps to Prevent
Freezing pipes are a common occurrence in the Kansas City area during this time of year. With cold temperatures especially in the winter whereby pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures. When water is in the pipe then it may lead to the expansion of the pipe and in extreme cases, the pipe may crack or burst hence damaging the water supply system. Pipes that are more predisposed to freezing are those within the interiors and the unheated areas of the house like the basements, garages and the attics.
- Ensuring the pipes are sufficiently exposed to warm temperatures throughout the cold season is the main trick to preventing freezing pipes. Ensure that there is enough circulation of warm air in the house. One should consider opening doors, particularly of the bathroom and kitchen to ensure warm air circulation is achieved. Exposed pipes can also be relocated to prevent them from freezing.
- Insulation of pipes especially within unheated exterior walls, garages, basements and crawl spaces is vital in ensuring maintenance of temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit thus preventing freezing. Blustery drafts can be prevented by sealing cracks on windows, doors as well as will plates.
- Allow water to drip from the faucets in the coldest areas where the probability of freezing is high. The trickling of water allows water to move within the pipes hence preventing freezing.
- It is important to disconnect garden hoses and drain all outdoor water lines during the fall to discourage freezing pipes when winter comes. The use of antifreeze is prohibited since it poses harm to the environment, humans, and animals. In other instances, one may seek services to winterize the home to prevent damage from freezing pipes. The process of De-winterizing can be applied when the weather turns warm and return the water system to normal.
- Using heaters to warm the hose is also a good measure of preventing freezing. It is advisable to set and maintain the thermostat at the same temperature without considering it being day or night. Shutting down the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system predisposes the pipes to freeze.
- When one is planning to be away from home for a longer period then it is proper to maintain a warm temperature by turning the heater at least at 50 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Repair of Freezing Pipes
To prevent damage to the water supply system it is significant to quickly address the freezing pipes through the process of thawing. One needs to first locate freezing pipes by opening the faucet and see the ones that produce water in trickles. Heat the frozen areas of the pipe, for instance, using a portable space heater to a point where water gains its full pressure. Restore the water supply and open the faucets to lookout if any pipes are still frozen. Check all the pipes to locate any leaks and cracks and call a plumber to fix if there is any. If one is not able to locate frozen pipes or do the thawing then a plumber can be called to do the work.