With winter approaching it could be a busy season for plumbers in Katy, TX due to the possibility of pipe bursts. Did you know that each winter over a quarter of a million families will have frozen water pipes that could have been prevented? For many homeowners, a burst pipe can become an expensive repair due to structural damage if it was not caught immediately. In order to safeguard your home’s plumbing system from the winter you should utilize the following tips.
There three major causes of which bring about frozen pipes and they are: inefficient insulation, drastic and sudden drops in outside temperatures and a thermostat that is set to low.
- Insulation – To protect your pipes from the upcoming winter you should insulate exposed plumbing pipes that are in the attic, basement, crawlspace, and / or lawn. These pipes would be the ones that are most likely to freeze during a harsh winter resulting in a pipe burst that will require professional plumbers in Katy, TX to resolve for you. You can purchase insulating sleeves that are available for plumbing pipes. These types of insulation sleeves are cut to length and when they slip on the slits are self-sealing. Optionally, you can purchase thick fiberglass insulation; just keep in mind to not wrap the fiberglass insulation to tightly around the pipe as this will decrease the insulating properties of the fiberglass.
- Heat Tapes – Heat tapes or often referred to as thermostatically controlled heat cables are also available. Before purchasing heat tape ensure that the brand you are mulling over is approved by the Underwriters Laboratory. Heat tapes should only be used as they are indicated for with exterior and / or interior applications.
- Air Leaks – Thoroughly inspect the areas around water pipes inside your home for possible air leaks. Commonplaces to find air leaks in a home are usually around the walls and the home’s foundation, dryer vents, ductwork that exits walls and / or foundations and electrical wiring areas. No matter how small the gap or holes are this will allow cold air to penetrate and if near water pipes it can cause them to freeze. You can use the appropriate caulking, insulation or even expanding foam to seal these gaps, cracks and holes. Most importantly, however, never seal air vents that are utilized by your home’s hot water heater and / or furnace.
- Outdoor Taps – Outdoor taps are extremely vulnerable to the cold winter air. If your taps have an inside shut-off valve, make sure you shut off the outdoor taps right before winter. You should also disconnect any garden hoses, drain them and put them indoors for storage during the winter. Allow the outdoor tap to drain then protect it by covering it with foam spigot covers or you can use insulation and a bucket or waterproof bag. If your outdoor taps are leaking then you need to have them repaired by professional plumbers in Katy, TX before the onset of the winter.
- Do not position your thermostat below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You should open cabinet doors that are under sinks and near appliances that are against exterior walls.
- If your water pipes have a habit of freezing regardless, a small trickle of warm water left running may be all it takes to stop the pipe from freezing over.
- No matter what we do, sometimes, temperatures may get so low that it can cause pipes to freeze over. If this happens do not panic, contact professional plumbers in Katy, TX for assistance.
When you do have a Frozen Pipe
In the event you do have a frozen pipe. Never use a torch or other open flame on the pipe in an attempt to thaw it out. This can be dangerous and you could potentially burn down your entire home in the process.
One home remedy to thaw a frozen faucet or pipe is by using a hair dryer. If you have a hair dryer in your home you can use this by moving it back and forth over the pipe. You should not hold the hair dryer in one spot as this can cause the water pipe to burst. You should start as close to the faucet as you possibly can and then work your way back to the coldest area of the pipe. Use extreme caution when doing this and if there are areas of standing water do not use the hair dryer or any other electrical appliance for that matter in order to avoid the possibility of electric shock. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself you can always seek out professional plumbers in Katy, TX to help you with your frozen pipe problem.
If your water pipes have already burst, once the ice thaws enough be ready for water to come rushing out. In this event, you will want to shut off the water at the main water valve cutoff and reach out to professional plumbers in Katy, TX for assistance with your pipe burst.