Advice from the Pros on Preventing Frozen and Burst Water Pipes
The team here at Apex Plumbing Pros is glad that you’ve come to our website to learn more about protecting your home’s plumbing from cold winter weather and preventing the water pipes from freezing and bursting. Winter weather can be harsh in Columbus, Ohio. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city is -22 degrees Fahrenheit. Although there is no magic number at which pipes might freeze, many experts agree that it is around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter of 2021-22, Columbus had approximately 30 nights when the low temperature was below the 20 degrees Fahrenheit mark. As you can see, homeowners in Columbus need to know how to protect their homes from the disaster that can result from frozen water pipes and a plumbing repair.
Pipes are most at risk when you are away from your home and at night when temperatures fall and water does not move through your plumbing system as your family sleeps. The pipes most likely to freeze are those outside your home and those on the interior in unheated places like attics, basements, and garages. Apex Plumbing Pros is here to help you and other homeowners in the Columbus area avoid frozen pipes this winter.
1.Take Action to Prevent Frozen Pipes
We recommend that you start with the following steps to help keep your home’s water pipes from freezing this winter. Start outside your home. Outside water sources are the most exposed to extreme weather and could be the first to freeze. Turn off the water source to all your outdoor spigots, and drain the excess water out of the pipes by turning on each spigot until no more water flows. If you will not be using exterior spigots in the wintertime, turn them off and drain the pipes as soon as you can in late fall or early winter. You also want to disconnect all hoses from the spigots and put them away for the winter season.
The plumbing inside your house is best protected with insulation. Exposed pipes can be wrapped in foam insulation that can be cut to any size that you need. If you are going to be away from your home, make sure you keep the indoor temperature set to a level that will prevent freezing. To protect bathroom and kitchen plumbing, leave a cabinet door open under the sink so that warm air from the home’s interior can warm the pipes. The final step to take is to let the water trickle from a bathroom or the kitchen faucet; moving water is less likely to freeze than still water sitting in your pipes.
2. Unfreeze Frozen Pipes
It is possible that even when taking preventative steps, you could end up with frozen pipes in your Columbus home. The crew at Apex Plumbing Pros is here to support you if you face that situation. First, identify if there is frozen water in your pipes. Is there an unpleasant smell coming from your plumbing? Is water just barely moving out of your faucet? Is there frost on the outside of your pipes? Any of these could be signaling that your water pipes have frozen. When pipes freeze, there are some steps we recommend that you take to thaw the pipes safely and as quickly as possible and make sure that they do not burst.
First, turn the water to your home off at the main water supply. Most often, you will find the main water valve close to the street. However, the main valve may also be located in a basement or crawl space. Once the water is shut off, use a hairdryer or a warmed towel or cloth on the pipe to slowly get the ice inside the pipe to melt. Never use boiling water inside or outside of the pipe; the boiling water could cause the pipe to heat up too quickly and crack. Also, be sure to warm the room up as much as possible and expose the pipes to warm room air. To test if the ice in the pipe has thawed, turn the water back on at the main valve and check all the bathroom and kitchen faucets to see if water is flowing.
3. Invest in Your Home to Prevent Frozen Pipes
In addition to insulating your pipes, there are some old and new technologies that can help you avoid any losses caused by frozen and burst pipes. Heat tape is a standard approach to preventing pipe freezing, and it can be very effective at keeping the water in your pipes in a liquid state. Self-regulating heat tape senses the temperature of the air around it and only turns on when temperatures drop below freezing. Thermostat-controlled heat tape works the same way as the self-regulating type, but it requires an additional connection to a thermostat.
In the areas of newer technologies, some smart home thermostats have the capability to warn you if the temperature inside your home falls outside of the preferred range. You set the range and can receive a notification on your cellphone when your home’s temperature falls outside the desired range. This allows you to take action to prevent your pipes from freezing. There is also a device called a smart sensor that is designed to monitor the temperature of incoming water. Attached to your main water supply, it can use your smartphone to notify you if the water temperature drops. It can also be programmed in one of two ways. The first is to allow you to remotely turn off the water supply to your home. The second way is to set up the sensor itself to turn off the main water to your house when the water is falling to a freezing temperature.
Another approach that some homeowners take to prevent frozen and burst pipes is the use of space heaters. Of course, electric space heaters have their own risks. They need to be kept at least 3 feet from anything that could catch fire and children must be monitored in order to keep them safe and away from the heater. However, they can be very effective at keeping your pipes from freezing.
The Plumbing Pros to Turn to in Columbus
At Apex Plumbing Pros, we can answer all your questions about preparing your home’s plumbing to face the winter chill in Columbus. Let’s work together to determine the best ways to protect your home from wintertime frozen water pipes. If you experience a plumbing leak, a broken pipe, or a broken plumbing connection, we are standing by to respond to your call. We are always prepared to serve our neighbors in Columbus and the surrounding towns with all plumbing-related help.
Our expertise includes hot water heater replacement and installation and drain and sewer cleaning and repair. We also offer a full line of heating and air conditioning services for installations, maintenance, and repairs. We are a member of the Better Business Bureau and are Top Rated by HomeAdvisor.
We invite you to contact us either through our website or by giving us a call today.