Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes During the Winter

February 12, 2020 5:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you live in a cold climate, it’s important that you be aware of the risk of frozen pipes during the winter, and understand the steps you should take if you do end up having problems with pipes freezing on your property.

Here’s a quick overview of steps you can take toward preventing frozen pipes in Colorado Springs, CO, or toward thawing them if the problem has already appeared.

Protecting your pipes

Before the cold weather sets in, you should make sure you drain any water that might be left behind in water sprinklers, swimming pools, garden hoses, etc. Remove and drain your hoses and store them away in a basement or heated garage.

You can insulate whole spaces better by adding wall and ceiling insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. This will help you to keep temperatures higher in those areas. If you see water supply lines in any areas that are unheated, you should wrap those pipes with special pipe insulation, which you can find at just about any hardware store in your area. Look for products called “pipe sleeves,” “heat tape,” “heat cable” or other similar items. You can also use newspaper, which can at least offer a small amount of insulation on pipes that might otherwise be unprotected.

If possible, you should consider moving exposed pipes to other areas where they will be better protected from freezing. This can be a difficult and expensive task, so it may not always be feasible.

If you will be away from home for a long time during the winter, make sure you leave the heat set to at least 58 degrees Fahrenheit. It can help to turn off the water while you’re gone. Make sure you also keep garage doors closed if you have water supply lines in the garage.

Thawing frozen pipes

If you’re already dealing with frozen pipes, it’s too late to rely on the above steps. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to quickly resolve the problem, so long as you uncover it quickly as well.

Look for places around your property where the pipes are most likely to have frozen, including pipes against exterior walls or where the water enters your home through the foundation. If you see frost, this is a telltale sign of a frozen pipe.

Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using an electric heating pad, which you can wrap around the pipe. If you do not have such a pad handy, you can also use an electric hair dryer or portable space heater (so long as it’s kept away from flammable materials). Never use a blowtorch, gas heater or open flame device. Make sure to keep the faucet open so that, as the frozen area melts, the water will flow through.

Continue applying heat until your water pressure returns. If you’re not able to find the frozen area or are unable to thaw the pipe, you should call a plumber immediately.

For more information about preventing and thawing frozen pipes in Colorado Springs, CO, contact the team at Affordable Rooter today.

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