If you live in the Chicagoland area you know our winters can get bitterly cold, so cold that we fear taking one step outside will turn us into a human popsicle. What this means for a plumbing company is a flood of service calls due to frozen pipes and burst pipes that can cause extensive water damage to homes!
Here is list of things you can do to help keep your pipes from freezing during these cold winter days.
1. Disconnect Your Hose from the Outside Faucet
This is a sneaky one! Your outside hose faucet is designed to let water drain out of it once it’s turned off. Leaving the hose on the faucet may leave water trapped in the faucet housing which can freeze and burst the pipe. The problem with this you won’t know anything happened until spring when you turn on the hose for the first time and you find water pouring into your basement or behind your wall!
2. Keep Your Heat On and Don’t Let It Drop Too Low
Keeping pipes from freezing means keeping your home warm enough so they don’t freeze. Every winter we have a few homeowners that go on vacation and either turn off their heat or turn it down really low to try and save a few dollars on their heating bill. Unfortunately, these homeowners often come home to find their pipes have frozen, or worse, they have burst. Burst pipes are big problem because most times we have to open walls to locate the burst pipes so they can be repaired, and typically if there is one burst there are more. The other problem is, these burst pipes can cause extensive water damage.
3. Leave Your Cabinet Doors Open
If your kitchen sink is on an outside wall keeping the cabinet doors open will allow warm air to get to the water lines and help keep them from freezing.
4. Seal Leaks That Allow Cold Air Into Your Home
Feel for air leaks near water lines. Even a small leak near a water pipe can be enough to cause a pipe to freeze. Use caulk or insulation to seal up those leaks, this will not only help keep pipes from freezing but will lower your heating costs.
5. Keep Water Faucets Running
If it’s extremely cold outside keep one or two faucets running slowly. Water moving through the system will help keep water lines from freezing.
6. Keep Your Garage Closed
Some homes have water lines that run in the walls that are shared with the garage. Keeping the garage door closed will help keep the inside of those walls warm so pipes don’t freeze.
7. If You Do Experience Frozen Pipes Call a Licensed Plumber to Thaw Them Out!
It’s always a good idea to call a licensed plumber to thaw any frozen pipes. If the pipes did freeze there is a good chance they may have also burst. A lot of times the frozen water seals the burst, that is, until the line thaws. When the line does thaw you will experience significant water damage especially if you’re not there to catch the leak and turn the water off. Having a licensed plumber onsite to thaw your pipes means if there is a leak once the line is thawed, he can locate and repair any leaks minimizing the amount of damage that can occur.
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