Serving 15 counties in VA and WV since 1989


Quality & Professionalism At Its Best!

Frozen Pipes


Winchester PlumberWhy Does a Plumbing System Freeze? 

When the season for frigid wintery temperatures comes to our doorsteps, frozen pipes can cause annoying consequences. The power can go off. Pipes freeze so that no water can flow at all. Suddenly nobody can take even a cold shower. The toilet gets clogged up, and there is an inability to wash dishes and clothes. Stress ensues!

Luckily, these problems can be solved in several ways with easy fixes and preventative actions. At the same time, more expensive repairs and solid investments in protecting the plumbing system of a home can be the best course of action.

How Can I Prevent This?

This article will go over the cheap and free things you can do to prevent frozen pipes. Next will discuss the more expensive options that should be viewed as a smart upgrades and valuable investments for a homeowner.

Keep an eye on the weather forecaster with a special eye for freeze warnings. Please take care to empty any pools and sprinkler systems. Drain all outside water lines and hoses before the predictions call for under 32 degrees. Remove the outside hose from the spigot. Check attics and basements for water pipes that can freeze.

When the outside temperature reaches this point water becomes a solid. The opposite of evaporation is water becoming steam when it boils. Turn the water faucets on during a freeze. Should the power go out, the cold side should be allowed to run at a steady drip, while the hot side should stay on slower pace. Open cabinet doors and kitchen doors to heat areas which may be vulnerable to the cold.

Pipes may be insulated with heater tape and kept warm with space heaters and hair dryers.

Pipes in the basement and those that run on the exterior walls and in attics are likely places to freeze. A heat lamp can be placed on the p-pipe corner, while heater tapes are applied to the rest of the pipes. Just never leave a heater unattended because they can cause combustion and burning.

Insulation is also important. The pipes can be insulated and the house itself should be insulated as well to keep the overall temperature down during the winter. If a pipe becomes busted or burst in a seam always call a plumber.

Why Is It Important to Keep This From Happening?

When it becomes important to rebuild the plumbing system of a home install a temperature-controlled thermal convection powered hot water recirculation valve. This device will circulate the water at a specified temperature.

Ask your plumber to give you the ICE LOC product. This handy maintenance item keeps pipes from splitting. It acts as a sponge for frozen water. Its actually an elastomer that fits inside your pipes. Just ask your plumber.

Frozen PipesAnother smart idea is using the Ready-Temp device to control the internal water temperature with a probe of the water in the pipes yourself.

If you do decide to just cheaply install pipe sleeves or use a heat tape, please make sure that it is a UL-listed one. Call a reliable plumber if you cannot get a pipe to unfreeze or if it breaks and you cannot repair it.

Professionals can relocate plumbing lines to avoid future damage. It s a blessing that quality products exist which can be installed to prevent frozen pipes from ever being an issue for a homeowner.

Are your pipes possibly frozen in your Winchester home? Give Powell’s Plumbing a Call at 540-665-8196, in order to figure out why your water isn’t working properly.

Schedule Service