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How to Prevent Freezing Pipes

Wednesday, Nov 11, 20

Frozen Pipe

With the colder weather right around the corner, it’s important to know how to prevent your pipes from freezing. A frozen water line can cause your pipes to burst, damaging your home. A small amount of ice and rip open a water line, but the issue occurs when the ice thaws allowing the water to flow freely into your home.

The flooding caused by frozen pipes can cost you thousands in repairs.

What Causes Your Pipes to Burst?

When water freezes, it expands by roughly 9 percent in volume with tremendous force. If the water in your pipes freezes, the pressure inside of the pipes could go from 40 pounds per square inch (psi) to 40,000 psi. Since no pipe can handle this amount of pressure, the frozen water causes the pipe to burst. A burst pipe can occur where the ice forms, but in many cases, the damage occurs where the water pressure finds a weakened spot in the pipe.
This weak spot could be inches or feet from the frozen area.

How to Temporarily Prevent Frozen Pipes

One of the first signs that you have ice forming in your pipes is reduced flow at your faucets. If the flow is slowed to trickle during cold weather, or you think your pipes could be vulnerable to freezing, you can take the following steps:

  • Use fans to blow heat into the cold rooms
  • Open any cabinet, closet, pantry, or vanity doors with pipes to allow the warm air to reach them.
  • Make sure your outdoor hoses are disconnected.
  • Keep your garage door closed.
  • Turn up your heat
  • To help with reduced water flow, heat your most vulnerable pipes, those in your basement or crawl spaces, with a hairdryer. Be sure to leave the faucet on while you do this to see if it helps increase the water flow.
  • You can also let your faucets run, even at a trickle, to help prevent pressure from building up in the pipes and to keep the water flowing to avoid freezing.

Permanent Ways to Protect Your Pipes

For more permanent solutions, be sure to insulate your vulnerable pipes located in unheated areas, those against uninsulated walls, or those located in basements, garages, or crawlspaces. It is also recommended that you keep your heat at no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can also have a professional plumber reroute pipes away from the cold spots in your home and replace your outdoor faucets with frost-proof models.

Need Your Frozen Pipes Repaired? Contact 412 Plumbing today!

We offer 24/7 emergency frozen pipe repair where your burst pipes can be handled immediately by our trained technicians to help minimize damage to your home and get your life back to normal as soon as possible.
As your trusted Pittsburgh plumbers, 412 Plumbing provides both residential and commercial plumbing services to meet all of your needs. Contact us today to learn more!


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