When Water Freezes: Ways to Avoid Bursting Pipes in Your Home

You can’t do without water in your home but it could soon become your worst enemy if your pipes freeze and you find yourself trying to clear up some serious damage to your property. Freezing temperatures are when your water pipes are likely to be at their most vulnerable so it makes sense to understand why your pipes might freeze and find out how to prevent it happening in the first place. Here is a look at some simple strategies to protect your pipework, including a myth-busting prevention strategy and what to do in an emergency.

Relieve the pressure

The most obvious tip for working on ways to prevent your pipes bursting is to check the weather conditions and take some evasive action when the temperature dial starts to head towards 20°F or lower. Water is capable of freezing at 32°F but you need to remember that your pipes actually have a lower threshold than this. If you see the temperature dipping below these levels you are more at risk of a burst pipe. A common belief is that if you leave the faucet dripping during freezing weather, this will have the effect of stopping your water from freezing. This is actually not the case. It is true that when you turn on your faucet you will be helping to relieve any pressure that might cause a pipe to burst but this popular tip won’t help you to stop the water from freezing.

Keeping warm

If your pipes do burst you need to call plumber carlsbad to get some professional help with your problem. One of the best tips to stop that happening in the first place is to do what you can to keep your pipes warm. It stands to reason that if you are putting on some extra layers of clothing because of the freezing temperatures, your pipes will be feeling the chill too. Insulation is the key to reducing the odds of a burst pipe and you have an array of options when it comes to keeping the cold from attacking your pipework. Pipe sleeves are always a good idea and you can also use heat tape and other products that are designed to provide a decent level of insulation. Make sure you cover every inch of your pipes with insulation as the cold weather will seek out any vulnerable spots, which could still be enough to cause a problem.

Vulnerable spots

Pay particular attention to pipes located near to exterior walls and in crawl spaces where the temperature might be lower. Interior pipes that run alongside outside walls are always going to be vulnerable to freezing so as well as insulating them, do what you can to protect them by covering or closing open-air vents during the cold weather. It will also help to keep the temperature in your home to at least 88 degrees or higher, even when you are not going to be at home for a while. You don’t want to come back to burst pipes.


Check the outside of your home

As well as making sure that all of the vulnerable pipes are insulated on the inside of your home you could also reduce the odds of freezing weather causing a problem by taking a look around the exterior and identifying places where the cold could be getting in. Once you have found any holes and cracks that could be allowing cold air in, seal them with caulk or a suitable form of insulation.


In the event of an emergency

If disaster strikes you need to act quickly to deal with a frozen or burst pipe. If a faucet or pipe has frozen, you should be able to thaw it using a hair dryer but obviously be careful using an electrical appliance around water. If the pipe has burst, your first task should be to shut off the water at the main so that you can stop the flow of water as quickly as possible. If you experience a break in a hot water pipe, close the valve on the top of your water heater. Your next step should be to call a plumber so that they can come and fix the problem quickly and efficiently, hopefully minimizing the damage caused.

Plumber Carlsbad who shares some top tips that all homeowners can follow, whether that’s making sure the pipes don’t freeze or making simple filter changes to the HVAC system.

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