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Ways to Prevent and Thaw Frozen Pipes

Does the onslaught of cold weather trigger the pipes in your home to freeze on a regular basis? Beware: this annoying problem can turn into a household disaster if the ice expands to the point that it bursts your pipes. The resulting flooding can be costly by damaging carpets, drywall, and some of your belongings.

You can avoid such a calamity from happening with these fast and easy tips.

heating_efficiency_winterize_homeWhat to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

If ice has formed inside your pipes, stopping regular flow of water, don’t just hope that it goes away. If left alone, that ice buildup can eventually burst your pipe and flood parts of your home.

To thaw the pipe, try using a regular hair dryer on high heat. You can also add a heat lamp or space heater to the area to raise the temperature.

Installing a Heat Trace Cable or Heating Tape

An effective tool in keeping frozen pipes at bay, these devices plug into a standard electrical outlet and keep your pipes warm enough to prevent ice from forming. A heat trace cable runs along the length of the pipe, while heating tape is wrapped around the pipe. Some kits must be cut to the proper length and require some assembly, while others are ready for use. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

winterize_your_homeTake Care of Pipes in the Most Susceptible Areas

Plumbing fixtures that are present outside or in poorly heated and insulated areas are the most likely to freeze. Be sure to winterize your outside taps every fall by shutting off their water supply and draining them before the cold weather hits.

Many older homes have pipes running through areas that are not heated or insulated, like the garage or attic. Keeping the doors and windows closed in these areas will greatly reduce the risk of frozen pipes.

Allow the Hot Water to Run

During sustained periods of particularly cold weather, it’s a good idea to periodically turn on your hot water taps and let it run for a few minutes. Doing this will help to warm up your plumbing system and reduce any ice buildup that may be happening?

If frozen pipes become a regular problem in your house, or if you’re unable to thaw a pipe that has frozen, you’re going to need to consult a trusted professional. In the Winchester area, one such professional is Powell’s Plumbing. You can book an appointment by calling 540-665-8196.