Frozen pipes are a frequent and potentially expensive problem for homeowners when the seasons change and the temperature drops. The plumbing system in your home may face several difficulties as the summer heat gives way to the winter’s frost. Your pipes’ water may freeze when the temperature drops, creating several problems that could disturb your daily routine and seriously harm your property. To prevent frozen pipes and avoid a plumbing emergency, especially during the winter months, homeowners should understand the risks and know how to protect their plumbing. Contact us for expert Tulsa water heater repair and plumbing services.
Five steps to follow if your pipes freeze due to seasonal changes
During seasonal changes, frozen pipes can be a regular problem, especially when temperatures decrease quickly. Here are five recommendations to remember if your pipes freeze:
Turn Off the Water Supply
When faced with the threat of frozen pipes due to seasonal changes, it is crucial to take immediate action to prevent potentially costly and damaging consequences. Turning off the water supply is a prudent first step in this process.
Start by locating your main water shutoff valve in your basement or utility room. Knowing its location beforehand is essential to save precious time in an emergency. Once you’ve located the valve, turn it clockwise (righty-tighty) to shut off the water supply to your entire home.
By turning off the water supply, you prevent additional water from flowing into the pipes, reducing the risk of further freezing and potential bursts. This step is especially vital if you suspect your pipes have already frozen, as it can help mitigate the damage. For expert Tulsa water heater repair or plumbing assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals.
After shutting off the main valve, it’s essential to open all faucets in your home to drain any remaining water from the pipes. This will further reduce the pressure inside the pipes, minimizing the risk of cracks and leaks.
Once the cold weather has passed and you’re confident your pipes are no longer at risk of freezing, you can turn the main water supply back on and gradually reopen the faucets to restore water flow throughout your home. Taking these precautions can save you from costly repairs and the inconvenience of water damage from frozen pipes during seasonal changes.
For several compelling reasons, water in your pipes may freeze in cold weather, creating serious plumbing issues and perhaps causing damage to your house.
Firstly, allowing faucets to drip or trickle when temperatures drop can prevent the formation of ice blockages within your pipes. As water flows through the pipes, even slowly, it creates movement, making it more difficult for ice to accumulate and expand. This continuous flow helps to keep the water in the pipes from freezing solid, reducing the risk of pipes bursting or cracking, which can result in costly repairs.
Secondly, opening faucets can help to release pressure within the plumbing system. When water freezes, it expands and increases the pressure inside the pipes. If this pressure becomes too high, it can lead to pipes bursting or joints leaking. Allowing a small amount of water to flow from the faucets relieves this pressure and minimizes the chances of a catastrophic pipe failure.
Additionally, running faucets during freezing conditions ensures you have access to water when needed. If your pipes freeze and burst, you may be left without water until the issue is resolved, which can be inconvenient and disruptive to your daily life. Keeping the faucets open ensures a continuous water supply, even during cold snaps.
When the seasons change, it’s essential to apply heat to frozen pipes to prevent damage and maintain the functionality of plumbing systems. Temperature swings throughout the year, particularly in the winter, can cause pipes to freeze and rupture.
One of the most significant reasons for applying heat to freeze pipes is to prevent them from freezing in the first place. When water inside pipes freezes, it expands, exerting tremendous pressure on the pipe walls that can burst the pipe, leading to costly water damage and repairs.
Frozen pipes can result in a complete or partial blockage of water flow, interrupting the water supply. By applying heat to these pipes, you ensure a continuous supply of water throughout the winter months, maintaining the comfort and convenience of daily living.
Frozen pipes don’t only affect the plumbing system but can also cause structural damage to homes and buildings. When pipes burst, it causes deterioration of building materials, mold growth, and costly repairs by seeping into the walls and ceilings. Heating pipes help prevent this collateral damage.
Applying heat to freeze pipes can also contribute to energy efficiency. When pipes freeze, they insulate the cold water inside, making it more difficult for water heaters to operate efficiently.
This will consume more energy, which can cause higher utility bills. Keeping pipes warm reduces this energy wastage.
Use Warm Towels or Hot Water
Wrap warm, damp towels around the frozen pipe or pour hot water over the affected area. This can help speed up the thawing process. Replace the towels and add more hot water until the pipe thaws completely.
Prevent Future Freezing
To prevent pipes from freezing in the future, consider these measures:
- Fill up all the cracks in your home’s walls, foundation, or windows to prevent cold air from entering.
- Maintain a consistent indoor temperature, especially during extreme cold snaps.
When extremely cold weather is expected, allow a small stream of water to flow from a faucet to keep the water moving and prevent freezing.
Disconnect and store outdoor hoses, and consider installing frost-proof outdoor faucets.
Remember that calling a professional plumber is ideal if you’re unclear on handling frozen pipes and want to prevent further harm to your plumbing system. Additionally, you can avoid dealing with frozen pipes altogether by taking precautions before the cold weather arrives. For expert assistance, contact Tulsa water heater repair specialists.
Read more about our business by visiting About Us | Plumbing Tulsa | Acts of Service Plumbing today. Also, check out one of the many clients we have served around the Tulsa area, including Navien Inc. Also don’t hesitate to reach out for any Tulsa water heater repair needs!