Dealing With Frozen Pipes
Why Does a Plumbing System Freeze?
In areas where temperatures drop below freezing during the winter months the risk of your plumbing system freezing greatly increases in areas of a building that are not well insulated. Plumbing systems can also freeze very rapidly if the heat goes out for some reason. If the plumbing system should freeze the pipes will be at a great risk of bursting, which can cause a massive flood in a short amount of time.
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Disconnect all garden hoses from the spigots and install insulated covers over all outside water faucets. Keep temperature inside homes at 68 degrees or above, especially if you are going away for an extended period of time; many homeowners have returned home to find frozen or burst pipes because they tried to save money on heating costs while away.
Thoroughly insulate all outside walls in all unheated areas of the home. Wrap all pipes in crawl spaces and near exterior walls and with insulation or electric heating tape. Identify cold drafts coming in from a chimney and caulk all gaps near pipes.
Be sure to close all basement windows and close or cover air vents as wind drafts combined with freezing temperatures can cause pipes to freeze quite rapidly.
Take extra precautions during periods of extreme cold weather. Heat your basement, open all cabinet doors under sinks, to allow heat to circulate around the pipes, and leave a faucet open to allow water to drip to minimize risks of freezing.
Why Is It Important To Keep Pipes from Freezing
It is critical to keep water pipes from freezing because when water starts cooling to the freezing point the water molecules contract. However, when fully frozen the ice expands, which is what actually causes the pipe to burst. Surprisingly, ice forming inside of a pipe doesn’t always cause pipes to burst at the actual site of the blockage, but in another area of the plumbing system from increased water pressure. While it may be tempting to just apply a heat source to a frozen pipe, this can actually cause the pipe to burst from molecular expansion if the pipe is thawed incorrectly. To avoid damage, always call a plumbing professional to deal with frozen pipes.
Is the cold Round Lake winter making you think about the security of your plumbing system? Call Duane Blanton today at (847) 855-0000 for top quality frozen pipe services.