How to Avoid and Manage Frozen Pipes — RISMedia

Did you know that even a tiny crack in a pipe can release more than 200 gallons of water in a day? Therefore, it is an essential task for every homeowner to take the right measures to prevent a frozen pipe.

With winter temperatures dropping below freezing in many parts of the country, the risk of exposed water supply pipes freezing and bursting as they begin to thaw remains. The plumbing repair experts at Roto-Rooter offer the following tips to prevent pipes from freezing in the first place, as well as steps to take if they are already frozen.

Before temperatures fall below freezing, do the following:

  • Disconnect the outside water hoses, turn off the water supply to the outside taps (if equipped), and then open the outside taps to drain the water from the pipes.
  • Install Styrofoam insulating covers over all outdoor faucets.
  • If outdoor faucets are dripping, make the necessary repairs before temperatures get below freezing.
  • If your washer is in a cold garage or unheated room, turn off the water supply to the appliance and disconnect the hoses.
  • Allow hot and cold water to flow from the sink and bathtub spouts.
  • Open sink cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Cover exposed water pipes with foam insulation sleeves, especially under homes and trailers with pier and beam beams.
  • Wrap thermostat-controlled heating cables around the most vulnerable water supply pipes.
  • Do not set your oven's thermostat below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you find that your pipes are already frozen, do the following to limit the damage:

  • Partially open indoor faucets to relieve pressure in frozen pipes.
  • When you leave the house, turn off the main water supply to prevent flooding after a burst pipe thaws.
  • To thaw pipes, use a hair dryer or space heater. Do not use an open flame.
  • Check with your local plumber: some have professional pipe thawing equipment to get pipes flowing again.
  • If flooding or water damage occurs, contact a certified water treatment service to minimize long-term damage.

By taking preventative measures before an Arctic blast hits, homeowners and businesses can minimize the risk of burst pipes and associated flooding.

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