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How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

burst-pipeYou probably have a lot on your mind during the fall and winter seasons, what with the holidays and getting ready for the end of the year. We hate to add to your mental load, but there is one other thing that you should probably take steps to deal with this winter: frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are common in areas of the home where the pipes are not properly insulated, such as those serving outdoor faucets or under the kitchen sink.

As the water in the pipe freezes, it expands outwards, putting immense pressure on the pipe walls. This can eventually cause the pipe to crack and rupture, causing water damage and often leading to pipe replacement. So, it’s important that you make sure to lessen the chance of your home’s pipes freezing as much as possible this winter. Learn how below.

Drain The Pipes

If there’s no water in your pipes, they can’t freeze. You obviously can’t drain your entire plumbing system to prevent any pipes from freezing. However, you don’t really need to. Just turn off the water flowing to any pipes that you don’t plan on using over the next couple of months (like your outdoor faucets). Once the water flow to these pipes is cut off, open the faucets at either end to drain any water already in them. Leave the faucets open until you need to use the pipes again. Once this is done, you shouldn’t have to worry about that pipe freezing.

Insulate The Pipes You Need

Inside your insulated, heated home, most of the pipes you use every day are warm enough that they’re not in danger of freezing. Some pipes, though, still might freeze depending on the circumstances. These include exposed pipes (under your sinks) and the like, which you still need to use throughout the winter. You obviously can’t be without these for months at a time, so you’re going to need to find a way to protect them without draining them. The best way to prevent these pipes from freezing is to insulate them yourself.

There are insulation sleeves specifically designed for this purpose, which you could probably find at your nearest hardware store. Your local plumber will probably also have the materials to insulate the pipes for you, if you want to make sure it’s done as thoroughly as possible. If you don’t want to spend that much time or money on it, though, there is still something you can do. Take a few old towels and wrap them around the exposed pipe. Then, just use plastic ties to secure them in place. It may not look all that neat, but it should do in a pinch for making sure your pipes stay operating properly all winter.

Pipeworks Inc. offers a full range of plumbing services in Bloomington, IL. If you need to have any kind of plumbing work done, let us help you out. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers.

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