Frozen pipes are one of the most frustrating and damaging problems that can afflict your plumbing system in winter. They happen when water inside the pipes freezes and expands, preventing the pipe from functioning. Depending on the amount of water in the pipe when it freezes, it can even rupture due to the expansion of the ice. Fortunately, there are a couple of things that you can do to protect your home’s pipes from freezing over.
Open External Faucets
How exposed a plumbing pipe is to the sub-freezing temperatures outside will determine exactly how likely it is to freeze over. If you have pipes for outside hoses, sprinklers, or anything similar, turn off all the water to them and open the faucets. This will allow any leftover water in the pipes to drain out, so that it can’t freeze and damage the system. Be sure to leave the faucets open throughout the winter, so that they can “breathe” properly.
Insulate Exposed Piping
As mentioned above, more exposure to sub-freezing temperatures will directly affect how likely your pipes are to freeze. Plumbing pipes running under the floor in the middle of your insulated, heated home are unlikely to freeze over, no matter how cold it is outside. If you have uninsulated pipes in the basement, though, you might want to make sure that they are properly insulated before the weather gets too cold. You can buy specific pipe insulators, or just wrap some spare towels around the pipes in order to protect them. If you’re not sure you can adequately insulate your most vulnerable pipes, for whatever reason, call a professional to do it for you.
Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers plumbing services throughout Washington, DC. If you need plumbing services of any kind, call today to schedule an appointment.