10 Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter
New Mexico has beautiful winters. But, sparkling snow and frost comes at a price – freezing and sometimes subzero temps. Without taking the right precautions, cold weather can cause serious problems for your plumbing.
When water freezes, it expands, causing stress and strain on your pipes. If the integrity of your plumbing is compromised, that could mean cracks, leaks, or worse – burst pipes. Make sure your plumbing is prepared for freezing temps this year with professional tips from TLC Plumbing.
1. Watch the Weather. While water can freeze at 29°F, but the water in pipes has a lower threshold. If you’re inching towards 20°F, it’s time to worry about bursting.
2. Keep the Water Running. Contrary to popular belief, leaving the faucet running does not actually stop the water from freezing. But, it can stop a pipe from bursting. Turning on your faucet opens a valve that relieves the water pressure that would normally pressure a pipe to burst. It doesn’t have to be much, even the slowest drip will relieve pressure!
3. Keep Your Pipes Warm. Subfreezing temps are unpleasant for almost everything, including your pipes. If it’s going to be a cold night and you have plumbing exposed to the elements, you may want to insulate them. TLC Plumbing can help recommend the best materials for the job.
4. Seal the Outside of Your Home. Checking your space for air leaks and cracks is also a great way to boost heating efficiency in the winter. Seal with caulk or insulation.
5. Know Your System. Every home plumbing system is different. Do you have pipes in an attic? Does your home have a crawl space? You may need to take extra precautions to insulate your pipes from the cold.
6. Get to Know Preventative Options. You can use more than just a t-shirt to wrap your pipes! Options include pipe sleeves, heat tape, heat reflector lamps, and actual cables that wrap around pipes to heat them in the winter.
7. Disconnect the Garden Hose. Don’t risk the integrity of your outdoor valves! Disconnect before freezing weather arrives.
8. Travelling for the Holidays? Avoid frozen pipes by shutting off and draining the water in the pipes.
9. Locate Your Shutoff Valve. Knowing where your main water shutoff valve is crucial, especially in the wintertime. If you experience burst pipes, shutoff the water immediately.
10. Monitor Water Pressure. Inconsistent water pressure can be a sign of an existing plumbing problem and might mean that your pipes are more at risk to have freezing problems. Keep an eye on your water pressure to ensure that your pipes are well-protected.
When frozen pipes burst, there is a splashing, hissing, or a thumping noise. There may be an accompanying odor caused by the water damage in a strange area of your home’s structure.
If you wake up after a cold night and nothing is coming out of your faucet, it’s important to call a plumber immediately. TLC Plumbing technicians are licensed and trained to assess your pipe freeze and relieve the pressure without disrupting the structural integrity of your existing plumbing system.
Pipe Thaw: What You Should Know
While plumbing feels extremely natural, it is not, and there will be times when Mother Nature wins. Frozen pipes require a delicate thawing process and will need to be inspected for any cracks or splits from the expanding water.
Trusted for over 25 years, TLC Plumbing is here 24 hours a day to help you with frozen pipes in the winter time. Whenever it happens, we will be the fastest response in town, arriving at your home prepared to assess and repair your problem. Contact us today to learn how we can help you insulate your pipes for deep freezes this winter season!