Homeowners in the state of Pennsylvania are familiar with cold winters and the complications regarding home maintenance. Frozen pipes are a concern of many property owners. Despite the fact that preventative measures, such as preventing frozen pipes were taken, emergency plumbing services become necessary. This can happen in an old house or even a modern one. If this is the case, it is never wise to procrastinate. Instead, the homeowner should seek a qualified contractor to remedy the problem. Fortunately, there are ways to safeguard pipes from windy conditions and frigid temperatures prior to the beginning of the freeze of winter.
How To Prepare Your Pipes From Freezing In The Winter
In this article, we discuss some of the best ways to winterize your home. Also, we share some tips that will prevent your plumbing pipes from freezing when the temperatures drop in the state of PA.
Table of Contents:
- How To Prepare Your Pipes From Freezing In The Winter
- How To Prevent Your Plumbing Pipes From Freezing
- The Danger of Procrastinating
- How To Spot A Frozen Pipe
- Call Robinson Plumbing For Reliable Plumbing Services
Winterizing Your Home
It is time to winterize your home if you haven’t already done so. Winterizing your house will keep it safe and comfortable during the harsh winter weather. Furthermore, it will save you from paying high energy costs. Anyone can benefit from winterizing their home. Even if weather forecasters claim that we are supposed to experience a mild winter this year, it is still a good idea to winterize your home before each and every winter.
There are tips that you can follow if you want to winterize your home properly. This will guarantee that you protect your home while minimizing energy costs and preventing frozen pipes. In the following article by Times Free Press, they discuss some helpful tips on preparing your home for winter:
Business Bulletin: How to winterize your home for cold weather
BBB offers the following tips for winterizing homes:
- Caulking and weather stripping. To prevent air leaks, homeowners should inspect the caulking around windows and doors to check for cracking and peeling. In addition, ensure that doors and windows are shut tightly and cold air is not coming in due to worn weather stripping.
- Ceiling fans. By reversing the direction of your ceiling fan so the blades turn clockwise at a low speed, you push warm air up and force it around the room.
- Heating ducts. Ducts should be inspected and cleaned periodically. Homeowners also should consider adding insulation to any exposed ductwork to prevent air heat loss.
To see the full “Times Free Press” article, click here.
This article offers some great guidelines that you can follow. Not only will these winterizing tips protect your home from the harsh, cold weather but it will save you money. If you put in a little time in now, you will save money later. One thing to consider when you winterize your home is your water pipes. All homeowners should take measures for preventing frozen pipes.
How To Prevent Your Plumbing Pipes From Freezing
The idea of your pipes freezing during the cold season is nothing new for homeowners. Anyone who has ever experienced it knows that it can be a huge problem if your pipe freezes and actually bursts. No one wants to have a live geyser inside of their house. Fortunately, there are tips that you can follow in order to prevent frozen pipes in your home. In the following article titled “CPW: Time to weatherize plumbing as colder temperatures arrive” by GreerToday.com, they discuss this in further detail:
Pipe Freezing Prevention Tips
- If leaving for the night or for a few days, set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees. Ask friends or neighbors to check the house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing.
- Shut off and drain the water system by turning the water off at the meter. However, doing so will deactivate a fire protection sprinkler system.
- Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. Wrap pipes before temperatures drop with approved materials. Pipe wrapping materials can be found at hardware and building supply stores.
- Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks. Winter winds through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes.
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses to prevent freezing.
If pipes have frozen, open a faucet and wait until water begins flowing again. Listen for leaks — water expands when it freezes, which can cause leaks in pipes.
Leaving a pencil lead-thin stream of water flowing from faucets in unheated areas or against exterior walls may prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keeping the cabinet doors open to allow more home heat to reach the pipes underneath sinks and in cabinets may also help prevent freezing.
If you follow these tips, you can prevent dealing with frozen pipes at home. Frozen pipes are not the worst situation you can find yourself in. If a pipe is in a frozen state for long enough and bursts, then that’s when the real problem begins. Another way to reduce the chance of a plumbing disaster is by adding insulation.
An easy way to prevent frozen pipes this winter is to ensure that insulation is placed in the appropriate areas, such as where pipes pass through crawlspaces and under kitchen sinks or bathroom vanities. Making sure that all pipes are located in heated spaces or properly insulated will prevent them from freezing when temperatures plummet during the heart of winter. Those who are in doubt about whether or not their pipes are adequately insulated should have them evaluated by a professional contractor who can make recommendations if the insulation is substandard. This is true, especially in an old house where insulation practices at the time of construction were very different than they are now. Therefore, homeowners who have an old house, should take extra precautions.
Outdoor Faucets and Garden Hoses
It is important to turn off the water supply to outdoor faucets and drain garden hoses when the weather turns cold. Any water pipes exposed to freezing temperatures for even a short length of time are at risk of bursting. If the latter occurs, it cannot be remedied without the help of a professional, which usually ends up costing the homeowner a significant amount of money.
One problem that is often overlooked by homeowners is soil expansion. When winter first sets in, temperatures can be somewhat erratic. For instance, if the outside temperature drops from the 40s to the 20s and then surges back up, soil can expand and contract in a sudden fashion, which ultimately puts considerable pressure on pipes that are buried within the ground. Without evaluation by a professional, a person may find it difficult to determine if there is a problem within the home or if soil expansion has created a problem outdoors. Therefore, having a contractor complete a full maintenance inspection prior to the arrival of winter is the only foolproof way to make sure problems are discovered and dealt with before they become major repairs. This is especially true in the state of Pennsylvania. where winters are frigid and long.
Keeping all piping networks warm will reduce the likelihood of frozen or burst pipes and the expensive repairs that typically follow. For this reason, even if the residents of the home are not in the dwelling, the house should be maintained at a temperature of at least 55°F. Pipes should always be drained if the homeowners plan to leave for an extended amount of time.
Leaving doors under kitchen sinks and bathroom vanities open during frigid weather is a good way to keep pipes warm enough to prevent freezing. During particularly cold temperatures, space heaters can be used to prevent such an occurrence. However, to avoid major complications such as a fire, it is essential to never leave such heaters unattended or place them in areas where they may cause someone to fall.
Other simple measures that can be taken to minimize cold airflow around pipes include keeping garage doors closed during winter. This is particularly important if water supply lines run through the garage.
The Danger of Procrastinating
If pipes burst and water is allowed to seep into a part of the house where electrical wires are located, disastrous results could follow, such as a house fire. Similarly, if pipes that have frozen are not dealt with at once they will almost certainly crack, thus turning a minor inconvenience into a major and expensive repair. Water damage and damage restoration is something that homeowners should take seriously.
The best time to choose a qualified plumbing company is before an emergency occurs. Otherwise, the homeowner may be tempted to select a contractor in haste and subsequently fail to acquire the best price for any necessary work. It is also important for consumers to determine in advance what types of repairs are covered by their homeowner’s insurance and which may result in out-of-pocket expenses. Homeowners should also consider installing an alarm that detects abnormal moisture levels in the dwelling. Such devices are relatively simple to use and in most cases, they are reasonably priced. In addition, it is wise to purchase a temporary patch kit, as such products provide a way for homeowners to temporarily fix burst pipes until an experienced plumber can be reached. Such kits are readily available at most hardware or home improvement stores. Ultimately, implementing proper plumbing maintenance is the best way for consumers to avoid frozen pipes, extensive repairs, and unnecessary expense.
How To Spot A Frozen Pipe
Plumbing professionals claim that you can recognize a frozen pipe if the water pipe is coated in frost. Furthermore, if the water doesn’t flow out of your faucets, then it is possible that you have a frozen pipe on your hands. Another way that you can tell if your pipes are frozen is if your toilet won’t refill after you have flushed it. If you experience any of these situations, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean that you are inevitably going to deal with your pipes bursting. In the following article by HouseLogic, they discuss some useful tips that you can follow if you believe that you are dealing with frozen pipes:
How To Thaw A Frozen Pipe
Before doing anything, shut off the water supply to that section of plumbing (or the entire house if that’s the only option) because the real trouble begins after the thaw. That’s because the frozen water may be acting as a plug, preventing water from spilling out of the cracks in your pipes. When that plug is thawed, water gushes out. It’s a good idea to be ready with a mop, bucket, and towels in case there’s a plumbing leak.
“It’s not the frozen pipes that really get plumbers’ phones ringing,” adds Abrams. “It’s the thawing pipes that leak and spew water after a hard freeze.”
Use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen length of pipe. Wrapping freezing pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape (from $50 to $200, depending on length) is also an effective way to quickly thaw a trouble spot.
Don’t thaw pipes using a propane torch, which presents a fire risk.
This section was originally found on the “HouseLogic” website which can be viewed here.
This article goes into detail on what you can do if you have a frozen pipe. It gives clear instructions on how to thaw a frozen pipe. It also gives us forewarning to make sure that you shut off your water supply in case your pipes do burst. If you happen to deal with a pipe that bursts, then be sure to call a plumber.
Call Robinson Plumbing For Reliable Plumbing Services
For a professional plumber in your area, Robinson Plumbing can assist you with any plumbing questions that you might have as well as address any of your plumbing needs. Robinson Plumbing is a local, family-owned company that is known for trusted, quality service. Our licensed plumbers can provide you with superior services at an affordable cost.
Some of the plumbing services that we offer include frozen pipe prevention, frozen pipe repair, water heater installations, water leak repairs, and much more. Our licensed and experienced plumbers have the knowledge to diagnose any issues that you may be experiencing. Furthermore, they can offer you a wide range of solutions when possible so that you can select the option that works best for you. All of the work that we perform is guaranteed to ensure your satisfaction.
Get your home back in working order by using our affordable and highly professional plumbing services. Call Robinson Plumbing now to schedule a free, in-home estimate.