‘Tis the season for cold weather and frozen pipes, the best case scenario is that just a small amount of water freezes and no damage is done to the plumbing or your home. The worst case scenario is that a vulnerable pipe burst and (depending on which pipe it was) the house is flooded. Water inside your home is a nightmare any time of the year, but it is an even bigger bummer during the winter when we spend most of our time indoors.
An important question we are often asked is, “How do you know which pipes are at risk?”
Before you can really know which pipes are at risk and which aren’t, you have to know where all of them are. You may have a plumbing pipe that is heated or well insulated in one part of your home, but left completely exposed to the elements in another part of your home. The part that is exposed is a vulnerable area and at risk for freezing. If you are not sure where all of your pipes are, call Carmine’s to help. We can locate them for you and point out which ones pose the most risk.
Your next step needs to be protecting the vulnerable pipes. There are several ways to go about this and the level of protection needs corresponds directly to the threat level of the pipes. Some may be just need to be wrapped in newspaper while others will need foam tube insulation. There may be a few that even need a specially designed heated tape for pipes.
When you know extremely cold temperatures are rolling through your area it is time to take extra precautions like leaving the doors open under sinks in bathrooms and kitchens. The heat from your home will help them to not freeze. You may even need to leave a small amount of water dripping, and while this does waste water it also protects you from having an even bigger issue like flooding. So when you weigh the pros and cons go with the drip to prevent the flood.
If you do end up with a frozen pipe try to thaw it slowly by warming the pipe with a hair dryer. This may save you from the pipe bursting, but if it does burst the most important thing you need to know is where the shut off valve for water is in your home. Turn it off immediately and call a plumber!
Carmine’s is here to meet all of your heating, air and plumbing needs. If you would like us to verify that all of your pipes have the insulation they need call us today 203-791-8089. We can also help you locate the all-important shut off valve.