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How To Prevent Your Pipes From Bursting In The Winter

During the winter months, the water from outside coming into your house is much colder than during summer. Freezing cold water causes your pipes to contract, and in weaker areas, it can cause your pipes to burst due to their inability to retain the water pressures inside them. When conducting your regular winter home maintenance, an important thing is to protect your pipes from freezing. A tiny crack in your pipe can destroy your home by spewing hundreds of gallons of water resulting in flooding, severe structural damage, and damage to your furnace. This also presents a quick potential for mold. Frozen water pipes are a problem that affects families every winter. It occurs in homes with both copper and plastic pipes.

How To Detect Frozen Pipes

When you turn your faucet on and no water comes out, this is often a sign of a frozen pipe. Once you notice this, check to ensure your home’s water is still turned on, and there is no leakage in the basement. After confirming these two points, continue your inspection to ensure none of your pipes have burst. Now, if your pipes are frozen but have not ruptured, there are two options for you:

  • Try thawing your frozen pipes yourself
  • Hire a plumber to do the thawing for you. This is generally the safer and more effective option.

Precautions To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

You should start taking preventive measures the moment you notice temperatures begin to drop outside to protect your pipes from getting frozen. If you miss these preventative measures, another way to recognize a freezing pipe is to observe reduced flow at faucets -the first sign of ice forming in the pipe. Below are steps to take to prevent your pipes from freezing up and bursting:

Leave the Faucets Running:

If you have any faucets served by exposed pipes, you can help prevent freezing by letting the cold water drip from the faucet. The constant flow of water will help prevent the pipes from freezing, so try running water even if it’s at a trickle.

Seal any cracks:

Make some time to investigate your property and seal any cracks that can allow cold air passage. Be extra cautious in places where your water pipes run from inside to the outside of the home.

Close your garage door:

Some homes have water supply pipes in a garage that isn’t insulated, so make sure to keep the garage door closed as much as possible. Another benefit of this is the heat inside the house will be maintained, which helps prevent your heat energy bills from being unnecessarily high.

Drain outdoor faucets:

Throughout the winter months, ensure you close and drain any outdoor faucet and protect them using a faucet cover. You might also want to disconnect and shut off the water from these pipes and garden hoses.

Ensure a steady thermostat:

Pipes are more likely to freeze whenever they experience a cold snap, so try to keep your thermostat working day and night at a comfortable temperature. If you plan to leave at any point in the winter, set your house’s thermostat to no lower than 55°F.

Call an expert plumber:

A licensed plumber professional will help you locate and prevent potential pipe bursts from happening. To receive tips and expertise on what to do to prevent your home’s water pipes from freezing up and bursting, contact One Call HVAC Plumbing & Heating! We specialize in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and plumbing on the Massachusetts south shore. Call us today at (781) 291-0438 or fill out the contact form on our website! 

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