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Frozen Water Pipes - Potential Damage & How To Prevent it

Frozen and burst copper pipe

Although most homeowners think they know just about everything in maintaining and foreseeing common problems that can occur inside and outside their properties, the majority get a failing grade when it comes to water and pipes and cold temperatures. The trio can wreak havoc in the home when least expected and can be an expensive mess to clean up and restore back to normal.

How Freezing Pipes Occur in the First Place

frozen pipeIn the plumbing business, frozen water pipes are a common problem. Frozen water pipes cause a number of problems. The first problem with frozen water pipes is: When your pipes are frozen no water will go into your house. Your toilets, showers, and faucets will all cease to function.

With no water coming into your house, life will become pretty uncomfortable very quickly. Also, frozen water pipes can burst and cause major property damage. Fortunately, your local plumbing contractor can help you avoid all of these problems.

Why Does a Plumbing System Freeze?

A plumbing system freezes because the water pipes have been exposed to temperatures below the freezing temperature of water which is 32 degrees. Pipes that are exposed to cold weather such as pipes that are located in the basement, or pipes that are outdoors are particularly susceptible to freezing during cold spells.

Remember this simple fact: Water expands as it freezes. That means water contained through vessels like plastic or metal pipes will now feel extreme pressure. Even though the pipes might be metal, that still does not mean much, because every pipe under huge pressure can burst and often does if the cold temperature dips enough.

Outdoor pipes that are truly exposed to the harsh elements like lawn sprinklers, outdoor hose bibs and the like, suffer the most. Also, frozen water supply pipes from unheated basement areas, attics, and so forth, can burst quickly.

Related: How Cold Does it Have to Be for Pipes to Freeze?

Frozen Pipe Prevention in Cold Weather

The scout motto is right, "Be prepared." In the fall, it is wise to have a plumbing company drain water from lawn sprinklers and swimming pools. Before putting away outdoor hoses, plumbers will remove and drain and also close the inside valves.

Why Is It Important To Keep My Pipes From Freezing?

It is important to keep your pipes from freezing because frozen water pipes can result in a lot of problems. The first problem with having frozen water pipes is that you can't get any water into your house while your pipes are frozen. You need to call a professional plumber immediately if your water pipes are frozen to get them fixed quickly so that your plumbing system will work as it should.

How Can I Prevent My Pipes From Freezing?

You can prevent your pipes from freezing by having a professional plumbing contractor perform a comprehensive evaluation of your home's plumbing system. A professional has the knowledge, skills, and experience to identify the vulnerable areas of your home's plumbing system and take precautionary measures to prevent any problems.

Another area professionals will check are the unheated areas of water supply lines. They will insulate hot and cold water pipes if needed in places like garage, cellar and under kitchen/bathroom cabinets. They will know where to apply protective measures such as insulation and pipe sleeves or heat cable and heat tape to further insulate exposed water pipes to ensure that your water pipes are protected from freezing during cold spells. Pipe bursting and spraying water in different directions

Future Pipe Protection Doesn't Cost Much

Another and more important reason to keep your water pipes from freezing is to prevent costly property damage resulting from burst water pipes. When your water pipes burst due to freezing, they can send a large quantity of water into your house. This flood water can cause a lot of property damage. Water flowing out of burst water lines can seep into walls, ceilings, and floors which can cause significant property damage that will be costly to repair.

Your local plumbing contractor will take the proper preventative measures to ensure that your water pipes do not freeze.

Keep the following additional tips in mind:

  • If planning to be away from one's home or vacation home during cold weather, plumbers advise leaving the heat on in the home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
  • Also, the thermostat should not be fooled with constantly. The pros suggest maintaining the same temperature both during the day and at night. Most folks prefer using lower nighttime temperatures, but this action can cause pipes to burst during very cold evenings.

All City Plumbing is always available to assist with pipe burst emergencies in the Rancho Cucamonga / San Bernardino County area. Call (909) 552-7550 now to request plumbing repairs in your home.

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