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Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes: A Homeowner’s Guide

winterize_your_homeThere are many things that you do to ready your home for the winter, but paying special attention to your plumbing and the weather is essential.
Taking a proactive stance with active steps to prevent your pipes from freezing could save you time, money and some serious stress. A frozen pipe will often burst, which is a plumbing emergency no one wants to endure.
Here are some pointer on how to keep your pipes from freezing and what to do if they do indeed freeze.

Warm Pipes with Hot Water

These preventative steps are basic but very effective. Want to avoid frozen pipes? Run the hot water regularly to flush through the system. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Even that small amount of heat may be all you need to keep water moving and avoid freezing. Another handy trick? Leave a few faucets running at a tiny trickle all the time. The moving water will keep freezing at bay.

Think About Exterior Pipes

The pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing are those that are in contact with the coldest temperatures. Make sure that you know where exterior pipes are located in your home. Also make sure that these pipes have access to warm air.
Pay special attention to pipes in exterior walls. Leave cabinet doors open under sinks (kitchen and bathroom) so that there are no barriers to the warm air surrounding the pipes.

Heat Tape is Helpful

The more heat that you can circulate through your pipes, the better. One very effective way to make sure that your pipes retain as much heat as possible is to wrap them in special heat tape. This requires precision to be done right, so this is a good job to refer to your plumbing.
If you are looking for a quick DIY fix, you can always wrap the pipes in foam insulation.

What if my Pipes Freeze?

heating_efficiency_winterize_homeDespite your best efforts, pipes can still freeze. Don’t panic just yet. You may very well be able to salvage your pipe and avoid flooding damage.
What do you have in your home that conducts heat? The top three for this job include a heat lamp, space heater or even your hair dryer. The reasons that these are good choices is that they heat the pipe quickly, but evenly. They also pose less of a fire hazard than some other heat-generating household tools, like a blow torch.

Attic Windows, Garage Doors Closed

You need as much warm air inside your home as possible to surround those pipes to keep them from freezing. Leaving your garage door open in the winter is giving cold air a free pass into your home, threatening those exterior pipes.
If you leave your windows open in the attic, you are giving hot air an escape route up and out of your home.
Plumbing emergencies can be stressful. It’s important to act quickly and calmly to get the help you need. At Valley Plumbing and Drain Cleaning in Salt Lake City, UT, we’re here to answer your questions. Call us at (801) 405-9334.