How To Stop Your Water Pipes From Freezing in Winter?

Freezing pipes are a major problem during winter and can cause unimaginable damage within a very short period. A 1/8 inch crack is capable of leaking out up to 250 gallons of water each day. You can only imagine how much damage this can do especially if there is no one around to handle the problem.

Something you may not know is that freezing pipes are a major problem in both cold and warm regions. No matter where you live the pipes most at risk of freezing in winter are in unheated spaces.

Drain pipes are smaller and pressurised. Even with a small amount of water, drain pipes are at risk of freezing in winter. Freezing pipes are extremely dangerous because as the water freezes it expands causing the pipe to burst. But you don't have to worry. There are a couple of steps you can take to prevent freezing pipes. As well as how to thaw frozen pipes.

What Can You Do To Prevent Pipes From Freezing?

Although repairing frozen pipes is possible. You can avoid the hassle by following these steps to keep your home free of frozen pipes.

1. Insulate Pipes

Even though specialised pipe insulation can be expensive, it’s one of the most effective ways to ensure your home’s pipes don’t freeze in winter. When insulating the water system in your home, remember that you should pay a lot of attention to the pipes in the unheated, interior spaces such as your garage, loft, and basement.

2. Open Cabinets

You should open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow the warm air in the house to circulate around the pipes. The heated air will prevent ice blockages as well as pressure buildup inside the pipes.

3. Keep Garage Doors Closed

Leaving the doors of your garage open exposes the water lines to cold air. If the pipes are consistently at cold, freezing temperatures, this can lead to pipes bursting.

4. Seal Cracks

You should seal or caulk all cracks around your home, as they are capable of allowing cold air inside. Especially where there are pipes that run from inside to outside your home.

5. Let Faucet Drips

A small water drip is all that is required to keep water flowing in the system and prevent frozen pipes. The small amount of friction that comes from the constant movement of water produces some heat that prevents freezing to an extent. A running faucet also relieves pressure buildup.

6. Ensure That The Thermostat Is Consistent

Setting your thermostat to the same temperature during the day and night is a good way to prevent freezing pipes. Lowering the thermostat setting at night with the aim of saving money on the heating bill can result in unexpected charges if by bad luck the pipes burst.

7. Drain Your Water System

Are you going to be away during the winter? The best thing to do is drain water from your system completely. We recommend you opt to hire a professional to help with this.

What Should You Do If The Water Freezes?

If water drips or trickles after turning on the faucet, the chances are that you may have a frozen pipe. You can check this by feeling the water line for very cold spots. Be sure to inspect closely to see if you can notice any line breaks. If you find any frozen pipes, turn off the main water supply and contact your local plumber.

Thawing a frozen pipe

You can also try to thaw a frozen pipe by following these steps:

  1. Turn on the affected pipe’s faucet (this makes the ice melt faster)

  2. Warm the pipe by surrounding it with a heat source (this is an effective way to melt the ice inside). Here is how you can warm the pipe:

  • Wrap a heating pad around the pipe and turn the dial to high

  • Wrap the pipe in heated, dampened towels. Change them as they lose heat

  • Use a space heater to circulate heated air around the frozen section

  • Use a hairdryer on high, and concentrate the heat on the frozen sections

In summary,

Frozen pipes can be a huge problem in your home, but the good news is that you can avert a disaster by paying attention to the tips discussed in this article. If you have to thaw a pipe, never use an open flame or extreme heat, as that can result in a fire hazard. Most importantly, always contact your local plumber if you’re not sure.

We hope that our blog has been helpful and has shown the importance of checking your pipes in the winter. If you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01536 680 920 or fill in our contact form.

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