In many parts of Michigan, winter temperatures can drop below freezing, putting your pipes at risk. Frozen pipes alone aren’t the cause of burst plumbing. The constant freezing and expansion that occurs causes the water pressure downstream in your pipe system to increase because it typically meets a closed faucet and has nowhere to go.
Frozen pipes can be prevented by taking three simple steps:
- Insulate pipes and seal air leaks throughout your home.
- Keep water flowing.
- Prepare for cold weather.
In extreme cold weather, holes in your walls or gaps in insulation can lead to frozen pipes. To prevent frozen pipes, insulate pipes running through attics, crawl spaces, and along exterior walls with foam pipe wrap. Seal openings used for phone or television cables and cracks in your foundation with caulk as well.
Flowing water will not freeze as easily as water that is stagnant. Allow a faucet to drip during extreme cold temperatures, but limit the amount of water wasted by opening only the faucets that would be vulnerable to frozen pipes. If the dripping stops, this is an indication that the pipes have frozen. Leave the faucet open to relieve pressure and to prevent bursting until you can contact a plumber to repair the problem.
Pay attention to weather forecasts for Grand Traverse County and surrounding areas. If a cold snap is predicted, you can prevent frozen pipes by opening cabinet doors to allow warm air to reach the pipes. If you’ll be away, lowering the thermostat might save on your electricity bill, it could cost you more in the long run if a pipe bursts. A programmable thermostat is an ideal way to heat your home while you’re gone. If you plan to be away for longer than a couple of days, drain the water system entirely. If there is no water in the pipes, there is nothing to freeze.
If your pipes freeze:
- Shut off the water at the main valve.
- Leave the affected faucets open.
- Don’t try to thaw the pipes with an open flame.
- Avoid using electrical appliances if flooding has occurred.
Have questions about how you can prevent frozen pipes this winter? Contact the pros at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We can answer any questions you may have!
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about frozen pipes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Team Bob’s services Traverse City, Michigan and the surrounding areas. Visit our websiteto see our special offers and get started today!
|Freezing pipes image via Shutterstock|