Have you ever found yourself in the unfortunate situation of dealing with frozen pipes? It’s never fun to contend with, especially when you end up cleaning up the aftermath. At Drain Doctor, we want to help you avoid this costly and inconvenient situation. So before it gets too cold again, here are a few steps you can take to help prevent it from happening.
Let it run. If you live in an older home or you have pipes that run along exterior walls or through crawl spaces it makes sense to let the hot and cold water trickle in subfreezing weather. The extra expense on your water bill is a small price to pay compared to the repair cost of the extensive water damage that can arise from the result of a break.
Check your flow. You should try and check your water flow as often as possible. If you notice your water being restricted, turn on all the faucets in your home and attempt to flush any ice from the lines. If this is unsuccessful call a plumber immediately as water expands when frozen, therefore bursting pipes and causing flooding.
Warm it up. If you’re going on vacation, you might want to think twice about how low you keep the temperature in your home. We recommend always keeping your inside temperature above 55 degrees in order to prevent your pipes from freezing. Another good idea is to open cabinet doors below sinks to let warm air access those pipes.
Wrap it up. We all have those areas in our home we do not visit often, such as basements and crawl spaces. These areas are usually the first places to freeze. There are two solutions in this case. You may begin by insulating the entire area in order to contain heat and protect your plumbing system. If this is ineffective, pipes in these locations may benefit from the installation of a heat trace wire with insulation. This will allow heat to transfer through an insulated wired jacket while containing the warmth and transferring it to vulnerable sections of piping. The heat trace operates essentially as a thermostat, only activating in extreme cold temperatures.
Keep it moving. Many drain lines run along outside walls. These lines have the potential to freeze and clog up. A gurgling sound may indicate a struggling drain line, causing ice to form in the house trap or along the drainage line. If you do hear this sound, try running hot water down the effected drain lines.
Look before you leap. Always be sure to inspect for leaks after you suspect any drain or water line has been frozen. If you must leave your home and you are concerned you may have a frozen line, shut off the water main. This will minimize water damage in the even that the frozen pipe thaws and leaks.
These are just a few suggestions from Drain Doctor to our clients in order to help you avoid frozen pipes and the headaches that they bring. We are always here to help, whether it’s an emergency or facilitating a preventative measure. It’s not always easy to prevent every problem that may arise, so if you do happen to experience an issue, or fear that you have frozen pipes, give us a call at 914.576.0123.