Homeowners often take for granted that their pipes will remain in good working order all year long. However, there are certain times throughout the calendar year where external factors can cause your pipes to burst and lead to an untold amount of water damage. In these cases, your burst pipes can be traced back to your pipe freezing and subsequently bursting to cause a world of problems for your home.
For homeowners who worry about their pipes not surviving the long cold winter weather without causing problems, knowing the steps you can take to help prevent pipes from freezing can help your home avoid costly and entirely preventable repairs over the winter.
What Temperature Should I Keep My Home?
Your home’s ambient temperature plays a significant role in how well your plumbing system combats cold weather and the accompanying temperature drops. Your pipes provide a degree of protection against the cold, however, keeping the pipes above a specific temperature will help prevent potential freezing problems. The recommended indoor temperature is at least 55°F. Keep in mind that where you live and the surrounding environment will also play a significant role.
External conditions such as harsh winters, how much of your plumbing system is in unheated sections of your home, and whether you utilize pipe insulation for added protection are important to consider. Knowing how your surrounding environment plays a role in your pipes’ function and keeps them from freezing means you can take the right precautions this winter.
How Can I Stop My Pipes From Freezing?
Fortunately, most homeowners don’t have to wait around to see how the winter will adversely affect their pipes. They have a wealth of options at their fingertips to better protect their pipes this winter season.
Maintain a Consistent Home Temperature
Your home’s internal temperature plays a significant role in how well your pipes handle the incoming cold temperatures. While you’re home during the winter and have your heating system on, the warm air helps regulate the temperature around your pipes and prevent costly frozen and burst pipes. However, when you go on a winter vacation, failing to keep your home above a specific temperature can cause more significant problems for your home.
When you go on a winter vacation, leave your heating system on and keep the thermostat set at 55° F or higher to help keep your pipes from freezing over while you’re gone.
Better Temperature Regulation
Actions in one part of the house affect different areas of your home in numerous ways. One such method involves keeping your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to help the warm air better circulate around the pipes.
Keeping warm air around your pipes helps prevent the water inside from freezing and expanding—the root cause of the burst pipes causing significant water damage. In addition to the cabinet doors staying open, remember to close the garage door to prevent cold outdoor air from getting into your home and potentially speeding up the freezing process.
What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze
If your frozen pipes have burst and flooding has started—shut the water off and call an emergency plumbing service immediately. For homeowners dealing with only a frozen and not a burst pipe, you can use the following proven steps to help thaw frozen pipes in no time.
- Turn your faucets on.
- Apply low levels of heat to the frozen section of the pipe.
- As the heat thaws the frozen area, the newly liquified water will evacuate the pipes and come out of your faucets.
- Rinse and repeat until you address every frozen pipe.
Contact the professionals at AP Plumbing if you can’t find the affected pipes!
Call in the Professionals
Not every frozen pipe can be solved with an electric heating pad and patience. Sometimes you need the professionals to come in and do what they do best to fix your plumbing woes. If you need that experienced hand to address your frozen pipes, don’t hesitate to call AP Plumbing to schedule an appointment!