Freezing pipes can be prevented this winterIf your home gets too cold, the water in your pipes can freeze overnight and then burst during the day when it warms up.
By: ArticleCity, Forum News Service
The temperatures are dropping, but the snow is nowhere in sight. That combination is wreaking havoc on pipes in many Northland homes this winter.
If your home gets too cold, the water in your pipes can freeze overnight and then burst during the day when it warms up. This leaves the potential for extensive flooding and water damage to your home. The pipes you need to be most concerned about are those that have the most exposure to the cold— outdoor hose faucets, swimming pool supply lines, underground sprinkler systems, and plumbing in unheated basements, crawl spaces, attics and garages. Pipes that run against exterior walls are also at risk.
What to do
When it’s cold outside, you should periodically check all the faucets in your home. If a faucet work or water comes out in just a trickle, you may have frozen water in your pipes. Attempt to locate the frozen area by looking in the area most likely to freeze, i.e., the coldest. Use a heat lamp, space heater, hair dryer or electrical heat pad to begin thawing the pipe. Remember to keep the faucet open as you work. That's because running water will help melt the ice faster. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored, then consider going to your neighborhood hardware store to purchase insulation for the areas of the pipe that froze, to help prevent it from happening again.
Do not use any sort of blow torch or open flame to warm pipes. An open flame is a fire hazard and if you are working in a confined area there is a threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year there is a story in the news of people burning down their homes or suffocating themselves to death while working on frozen pipes.
The second reason to not use an open flame is that if it gets too hot, you can melt your pipes, especially PVC plastic pipes.
Third, too much heat too quickly creates the potential for an explosion. That’s because water expands as it gets hot. A blow torch or other device will cause the water to boil, and boiling water trapped in the middle of a frozen pipe has no place to expand, so it explodes.
The last piece of advice is always the best: If you fail to thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber before the pipe breaks.
How to keep it from happening
ArticleCity and Forum News Service