It’s the season of parties, caroling, shopping AND frozen pipes which is one winter experience we can all live without. I much prefer my holiday festivities to be merry and dry than soaked, flooded and without working water. If you have avoided the nightmare of frozen pipes thus far – good for you, if not, that experience probably left you with a pretty solid appreciation for prepping your pipes for winter.
When water freezes, it expands, just think of when you put water in an ice tray. The water fits in there just fine, but once it is frozen into ice cubes it has expanded and is now a pretty tight fit in that little tray and naturally harder to get out. That is what happens in your pipes as well and even the strongest material can have trouble standing up to that kind of pressure.
So, what should you do? Well, there are a few steps you can take to help ensure that frozen pipes are not part of your troubles this winter. Some pipes are more prone to freeze than others and these include sprinkler lines, pool supply lines, water supply lines in unheated areas (think attics, etc) and pipes against uninsulated exterior walls.
There are some things that need to be done right away if you have not already done them – if you have a sprinkler system and/or a pool; you need to make sure all of the water supply lines have been drained. You should remove all hoses from outdoor spigots and drain and store them.
You should also open outdoor hose bibs to give frozen water room to expand, but keep the indoor ones closed. Inspect your home to make sure that all hot and cold water supply pipes are protected from the cold. If they are not, you need to insulate them immediately. Insulation materials vary, but you can use such items as newspapers, pipe sleeves, heat tape and other materials specifically designed for protecting your pipes.
If you notice a frozen pipe while you are checking out your home you need to thaw it as soon as possible. First, open a faucet, then warm up the pipe – one way to do so is to wrap a heating pad around the pipe. Eventually, the pipe will warm up and the water will start to flow out of the faucet instead of bursting and ruining your home.
If you know you have a frozen pipe, but you cannot find it or it is inaccessible to you call Carmine’s right away at 203-791-8089.