Winter can be particularly hard on your property’s plumbing system. Water pipes installed on exterior walls and in uninsulated areas can freeze when temperatures drop. The water inside the channels turns to ice and expands, causing blockages that put a strain on the fixtures. Vulnerable areas can crack from the pressure, resulting in leaks. Taking steps to winterize pipes will prevent leaks that cause property damage and high water bills. If pipes do freeze, the actions highlighted below will minimize or reduce the risk of damage.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter
Keeping uninsulated areas warm prevents frozen pipes. If pipes run through the attic, basement, closets, and kitchen and bathroom cabinets, keep the doors to these places open. This will help air from heated areas filter to the uninsulated spaces. For extra protection, place foam or rubber insulation around pipes to help the fixtures retain heat. You can also install insulation in rooms that don’t have heat. Doing so will prevent frozen pipes while increasing property efficiency and household comfort. Keeping water moving will stop the channels from freezing, so let cold water drip from faucets when not in use.
What to Do When the Fixtures Have Frozen
If water won’t come out of faucets or there’s only a slight trickle, frozen pipes could be to blame. If you see frost forming on visible pipes, chances are the water inside is frozen. As pipes could burst, turn off the main water shut-off valve to property plumbing. Doing so will stop the flow of water through the plumbing system as you try to thaw the pipes. Exposing the metal to heat—by wrapping an electric blanket around it, blowing hot air on it from a hair dryer, or placing a space heater nearby—will help. If the pipe hasn’t burst, you can switch the main back on and turn on faucets. You’ll know pipes have thawed when water pressure is restored. If a pipe has burst, don’t turn the water back on until the damage is repaired.
For help preventing or repairing frozen pipes, contact the crew at McGuire Plumbing & Heating. Based in Voluntown, CT, and serving clients in New London and Windham counties, the plumbers will treat fixtures to prevent ruptures, clogged drains, and additional headaches caused by low temperatures in the Northeast. They will also de-winterize the system to improve performance in the warmer months. To schedule plumbing repairs or maintenance, call (860) 376-3388. Visit the technicians online to learn about their services and history in the community.