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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Winter Plumbing Tips - How To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing


One of the most common plumbing problems in cold weather is freezing pipes. Pipes freeze in a high percentage of homes in areas where the temperature dips below freezing. Because this causes serious damage to pipes and home plumbing systems, it's something that you've got to be proactive about dealing with.

What happens is that when the temperature gets below freezing, stagnant water that's just sitting in the pipes freezes. When it becomes ice, it expands, putting thousands of pounds of pressure on the pipes. This cracks the metal can causes everything to go out of whack. When the ice thaws, you've got cracked pipes and the water can't get where it needs to go. When you turn on the faucet, nothing comes out at all. This means that things have already gotten bad.

What You Can Do About It

First of all, make sure that you've got insulation on all of your piping. If you have pipes that are exposed to the outside temperatures, take special care to make sure that they are fully insulated. You can buy foam insulation from any hardware store and install it yourself. It's an easy job that can be done in just a few hours with simple tools.

For plumbing that is located in kitchen cabinets or other places that might get colder than the rest of the house, open them up so that some warmth gets in there. Especially watch pipes that are located in attics and basements where there will be cold temperatures. Open up these areas to keep them warm when the weather gets its coldest.

Since standing water is the cause of freezing pipes, you should also run some water through the plumbing system occasionally. Turn on the taps to let a little bit of water trickle out when it gets especially cold outside. If you keep the water moving through all of your faucets, it will keep the pipes from icing.

Also make sure that you don't have any clogged drains. This is another opportunity for water to stagnate and turn into ice. Keep all of your pipes clear and avoid putting anything in them that is hard to dissolve like fat, grease and oil.

If you're going to go away for a vacation, make sure you've got everything well insulated. Drain all of your pipes so that there is no water left to freeze.

What To Do When Your Pipes Have Frozen

Once your pipes are frozen, all is not lost. You can warm up the plumbing and get the water flowing again in most cases. Try running lukewarm water through the pipes or heating them up with a hair dryer. A little bit of heating will do; just enough to get it melting. If you get the water too hot, this will cause further problems in the pipes.

If the pipes are already cracked, there is nothing left to do but call the plumbing experts and have them reinstall piping. This is an expensive and involved job, so make sure that you prevent freezing first. Keeping an eye on your piping and making sure it doesn't freeze is a good way to save money.
Choose a Dallas Plumbing company that can give you solid customer service and a fast solution. For more information, visit http://www.angieslist.com

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