Frozen Pipes

Washington DC Plumbers Prevent Frozen Pipes During Winter

Plumbers 911 Prevents & Diagnose Frozen Pipes For You to Have a Carefree Holiday

Frozen Pipes | Washington DC PlumbersOne winter weather problem that homeowners and renters alike need to be alert to is the possibility of cold weather damaging your pipes. Pipes could freeze when the temperature drops and eventually they might burst and create bigger damage, not just to the plumbing system but also to the household. This is something you can easily prevent from happening if you take careful preventative measures early in the season. If you think there might be damage to your sewer lines already, it’s important to take quick action to mitigate potential havoc a broken pipe can cause. Whether you’re looking for winterizing tips for your pipes, or trying to diagnose a frozen pipe, keep reading this page for all the information you need. Should you require further professional advice or require emergency plumbing assistance, Plumbers 911 Washington DC is ready at any time to be your all-service plumbing technician.

What Causes Frozen Pipes?

Frozen sewer lines are caused – no surprise – by freezing weather. This might be an uncharacteristic, short cold snap, or it might be a prolonged period of cold weather during the winter. When water freezes, it expands. This extra strain on the inside of your lines can cause it to break, usually at their weakest point. This means that older sewer lines, such as those in older homes, can be particularly susceptible, although any pipe can break due to freezing temperatures. And even older ones can be kept in good repair and work for many years if good care is taken to prevent any issues during the cold months.

When and How to Winterize Your Home

As the weather starts to cool, keep an eye on the falling temperatures and act before they get too low. Some preventative measures can be taken during the warm summer months, so that you’re in no rush or panic to complete the work before it suddenly turns cold. These preventative measures can include:
  • Insulation – Install insulation around your pipes, especially in places like the attic. There are many kinds of insulation to choose from, such as pipe sleeves or heat tape, and these are easy DIY projects to complete yourself.
  • Sealing – Seal places at doors and windows where cold air can enter. Often, especially in older homes, windows and doors aren’t completely airtight. Adding insulating tape to fill these cracks, or if necessary even replacing your doors and windows, will help maintain the warmth in your home and keep your lines from freezing. Added benefits: you’ll save money on your heating bill, and your home will be that much cozier this winter.
In late fall, it’s also important to remove your garden hoses from outdoor faucets, and wherever possible shut off these faucets (usually on the interior of your home) and drain the pipe of any excess water. Even if you live in a warm area, be sure to take care of your pipes. Homes in warm climates are less insulated, which means an unexpected cold snap might leave you more exposed than a home in a cold climate, where insulation is typically installed around them to help prevent these issues. These are mostly things you can do yourself, but Plumbers 911 is always available for a consultation on how to best winterize your pipes.

Take Further Steps to Prevent Problems

Frozen Pipes | Washington DC Plumbing ServiceAlways make sure that your home is kept to at least 40 degrees, even when you’re not in your home. This includes holiday travel and other times when the home may not be occupied for several days at a time – in fact, this is the most crucial time to ensure your home remains heated, in case the weather turns particularly cold in your absence! If your home is drafty, such as in some older homes with poor insulation, and you’re concerned about the cost of heating your entire home, an added security measure is to leave your taps dripping slightly to promote the flow of water through your pipes. As long as the water remains flowing, it won’t freeze.

Diagnosing a Frozen Pipe

If you turn on the faucet one morning and water isn’t flowing, and it’s below freezing outside, that’s a good sign you have a frozen pipe somewhere in your home. The first step to fixing the problem is to localize where the frozen pipe is, and figure out the extent of the issue. First, go through your home and turn on all the faucets you’ve got. Take careful note of which ones are allowing running water and which ones aren’t. If the water is flowing freely, the pipes aren’t frozen. If no water is coming out of the faucet, you have a problem! Often this method will help you localize the problem to one specific pipe, such as the one running water to your kitchen or bathroom sink.

What to Do If You Have a Frozen Pipe

If you believe water has frozen in your pipes, it’s possible that you can thaw the water yourself without having to take drastic measures. This will only help if the water has frozen, but there are not yet any cracks in them. First, turn on your taps to make sure the water in your lines has a place to flow. Then, carefully take a blow dryer and blow warm air on the exposed sections of your lines (such as under your sink). This may take quite a long time, but eventually you should start to see the flow of water starting again. Listen carefully for sounds of water flowing that you cannot see. This is an important red flag that there may be a break in your pipe and you will require assistance. A broken pipe is a plumbing emergency, so be sure to contact a professional as soon as possible! If you currently have a broken pipe on your hands, don’t hesitate to contact Plumbers 911 Washington DC skilled technicians are the best in the business, are fully trained and certified, and are on call 24 hours a day. We’re excited to help you with all your plumbing needs, both emergency and not.

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