Preventing Frozen Pipes

With the winter season officially upon us, the potential for freezing cold has increased, and with it the likelihood of frozen water pipes. The damages that can occur when frozen pipes burst can be catastrophic to the home and its foundation. Prevention is the best means of avoiding burst pipes and the leaks that result. A Benjamin Franklin’s plumber in Sugar Land can provide the professional leak repair that you require, and has the expertise to provide the plumbing repair you need when pipes freeze and/or burst during extreme cold.

Frozen Pipe Prevention

Check the shut off valves to ensure they work in the event that you need to use them. If they fail, and you have a leak, you will still be able to shut the water off at the water main shut off valve, or the water meter. Knowing how to operate all means of shutting the water off before it is an emergency can limit additional damage. If you require repair or installation of shut off valves, a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land can assist you.

If you haven’t already done so, insulate pipes and faucets located in vulnerable locations such as those in the attic, on exterior walls, in basements or crawl spaces, and do not forget outdoor hose bibbs. If any leaks are present, schedule repair by a plumber in Sugar Land now.

Exposed outdoor water lines, including those under the home, are vulnerable to freezing. Installing electrical heating cable or electric heat tape around vulnerable pipes will prevent freezing as long as the power doesn’t fail. Ensure you read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions when installing heating cables or tapes on your plumbing in Sugar Land.

Thermostatically controlled heat cables automatically adjust to temperature changes. Heating cables are available in lengths of 3 ft. to 100 ft., and are available for both metal and plastic water pipes. Typically for water lines less than 1 inch, you simply lay the cable in a straight line along the pipe and secure with plastic zip ties. Some heat tapes recommend coiling it around a water line, however, ensure that you don’t coil heating cable onto itself as this can result in a fire. Read the instructions thoroughly and follow them. Heating cables are generally available at any home improvement store, electrical supply or hardware store.

Seal gaps around the home where cold air may penetrate and contact pipes, potentially causing them to freeze. In severe cold, especially wind driven frigid temperatures, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air freeze a pipe.

Gaps may include cracks in the foundation, dryer vents, windows, cable and telephone wire penetrations, etc. If crawl space vents are present close them. If they are ventilated, tape plastic over them to block air penetration.

When Freezing Temperature is Forecast

  • Open the cabinet doors for the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow heat to enter.
  • For pipes located inside an outside wall where frozen pipes may be a problem, allow a small trickle of both the hot and cold water to run if possible.
  • Keep the house warmer than usual. Frozen Pipes

The first sign of frozen pipes is reduced flow or no water flow at a plumbing fixture.

When pipes are frozen and there is no water flowing, turn off the main water valve immediately and open all hot and cold faucets in your home. Call a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land for the resolution of a frozen or burst pipe.

When you are Away from Home

The only way to ensure a water leak does not occur while you are away is to turn the main water valve off to your home, or at the meter. If you are unable to do this, have a neighbor, friend or family member check on your house daily.

Allow the heat to run and do not turn the thermostat below 55 degrees F. Ensure the person checking on your home knows to call your plumber in Sugar Land. Post the plumbers name and number in an easy to find location, such as on the refrigerator. This will ensure you receive the plumber in Sugar Land that you trust.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is nationally recognized as providing plumbers who are among the best in the nation. When you want quality you can rely upon, contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Sugar Land. Give us a call for frozen water pipes or other plumbing services. We are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week for your plumbing emergencies. We serve Houston, Katy, Sugarland and the surrounding areas, and are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.