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When temperatures start dropping, the risk of your plumbing pipes freezing also increases. To avoid costly repairs and restorations, ensure that you stay alert, especially when the temperature reaches below zero degrees and your pipes are uninsulated. Unprotected pipes can freeze and that may lead to flooding in your home. Thankfully, there are things you can do to protect your pipes during winter. In this article, we’ll talk about how to know you have frozen pipes and how to prevent them. If you have other concerns, feel free to contact a plumber in Myrtle Beach, SC.
What Happens to Your Pipes When the Temperature Starts to Drop?
One of the most common property damage is a water leak. When you don’t take extra precautions or maintain your plumbing, you could spend thousands of dollars on repairs and restorations. During winter, it’s important to protect or insulate your pipes to prevent pressure from building up inside. It will be a disaster when you’re not home to turn off the water supply and your pipes freeze and burst. You can prevent this from happening by making sure all exposed pipes are protected.
The pipes at risk are those located outside and in unheated interior places such as the garage, basement, attics, cabinets under the sink, and in the exterior walls. Call a plumber if you need assistance in freeze-proofing your plumbing during the winter.
How to Know You Have a Frozen Pipe
If you turn on the tap and no water or only a trickle comes out, it’s likely that you have a frozen pipe. You can either thaw them out yourself (but make sure you know how to do it properly) or call a professional in Myrtle Beach, SC, immediately for assistance.
To thaw a frozen pipe, we highly recommend that you contact a professional plumber to ensure that it’s correctly done. Avoid DIY, especially when you are a beginner, or you may end up with a flooded home.
Professionals are equipped with state-of-the-art tools to help them properly thaw your pipes. But should you decide to do it on your own, be careful and take extra precautions.
How to do it:
You can apply an electric heating pad to the pipe or even a hairdryer to unfreeze the water. Another alternative is wrapping the pipes with towels soaked in very hot water. As much as possible, avoid using a propane heater or kerosene as that might start a fire or damage your pipes.
Keep applying heat until it’s fully restored. Also, make sure that you check your other pipes too, as the water inside them is likely frozen as well.
Always contact a licensed plumber if you don’t know how to thaw a pipe or if you don’t have access to the pipe. A professional plumber will know what to do and can handle any job.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
The best thing you can do to avoid frozen pipes is to ensure that the water inside them is warm enough. Below are our suggestions on how to better freeze-proof your pipes during winter. If you need additional assistance, feel free to contact a plumber.
Insulate Your Pipes
For exposed pipes in your homes, especially those located outdoors, make sure they are properly insulated. You can buy an insulation blanket at your local hardware store or contact a plumber for assistance.
There’s no need to insulate the drain pipes that carry wastewater. The pipes you need to take care of are the water supply pipes, which are usually an inch in diameter. If you can’t locate these, then better call a licensed professional.
Open Bathroom and Kitchen Cabinet Doors
One of the things you can do to prevent frozen pipes is to allow warm air to circulate, especially in the sinks or on exterior walls (if you have pipes behind these walls.) If you have the heating on, the heat can keep your pipes warm. If you have children at home and there are cleaners or other chemicals inside the cabinet, then ensure that you keep them out of reach. If you have water pipes in the garage, then make sure they’re closed.
Slightly Open Your Faucet
Winter is the time to think about protecting your plumbing, as it may cost you a fortune when your pipes freeze and then burst. Consider opening your faucet slightly to prevent water from freezing. A small amount of water can already help. Opening your faucet can significantly relieve the pressure building up in the pipes.
Don’t Change the Temperature in Your Home
If you’re going away, make sure that your home’s temperature is not lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, you need to add more insulation to your basements, attics, and crawl space. The added insulation can help maintain the temperature in your home.
You need to also be careful with drafts or air leaks by sealing any gaps or holes. Use caulk for filling those gaps and include the exterior walls too. If you need any help, call a professional in your area.
Do you need a plumber in Myrtle Beach, SC? Pleases don’t hesitate to call us at your earliest convenience. We’ll quickly dispatch a licensed professional to your home or business to help you resolve any issue. Don’t worry; our plumbers are highly experienced and skilled. They can help with plumbing repairs, installations, maintenance and also assist you in freeze-proofing your home during winter.
As much as possible, do this at least a couple of weeks or a month during winter or when the temperature starts dropping. Call us anytime, even during the wee hours — we’ll always be available to assist you because we operate 24/7. Call us today for an appointment.