Freezing pipes are a common occurrence in the Kansas City area during this time of year with cold temperatures 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. 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 under-heated areas of the house like the basements, garages, crawl spaces, and attics.
- Ensuring the pipes are sufficiently exposed to warm temperatures throughout the cold season is the main trick to preventing broken 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 water lines 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 the maintenance of temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, thus preventing freezing. Winter drafts are resolved by sealing cracks on windows, doors, and switch 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 broken pipes when winter comes. Antifreeze is prohibited because 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. This helps to prevent frozen pipes.
To prevent damage to the water supply system it is important to quickly address the frozen pipes, especially 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 line. 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 water lines 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 the broken pipe to thaw, then call a plumber to do the work.