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» Preventing Frozen Pipes

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Follow these simple tips to prevent your home plumbing and pipes from freezing during the cold winter months.
Follow these simple tips to prevent your home plumbing and pipes from freezing during the cold winter months.
Frozen pipes can happen in a mobile home, a standard home or even a business if we don’t take steps to prevent it.

The reason it becomes a problem is the unique property of water, that being its expansion when it is frozen. This creates a great deal of pressure on whatever vessel that is holding it, and no matter how strong it may be, it can cause that vessel to break.

Pipes which will freeze more often are obviously those which are exposed to higher wind or severe cold, such as hose bibs, pipes running against an outside wall and those in areas of the home that remain unheated such as crawl spaces, basements or garages. If pipes run against an outside wall and are not insulated or heated in some way they are also prone to freezing.

Preventing Frozen Piping

Prior to the onset of winter, you can take some steps to prevent the pipes from freezing:

  • Drain hoses and hose taps and cover them with insulation then a solar blanket or a wood box built to fit.
  • Drain water from your pool and sprinkler.
  • Check your home for pipes or supply lines that are above ground or close to an outside wall and apply insulation or heat tapes as needed.
  • Consider installing pipe sleeves to keep your water supply viable during the winter months in colder climates.
  • Use some type of insulation on supply lines that run in garages and keep the garage door closed during the winter to keep the wind out. Even newspaper provides some insulating value if nothing else is at hand.
  • To Thaw Frozen Pipes If you turn the faucet on and see just a bare minimum of water or none at all in a particularly cold time, suspect the pipes are frozen. Keep your faucet turned on and locate the area that you suspect may be frozen. The most likely places will be those mentioned above.
  • Lines above the ground outside, unheated areas such as the basement or garage. Apply heat to the areas you suspect using a hair dryer or heat tape, while the faucet is open.. running water in the pipe will help to open the pipe more.. You may also wrap the pipes in hot toweling.
  • DO NOT, use a torch, propane heater, charcoal stove or other device that makes open flames as this poses a serious risk of not only a fire but carbon monoxide levels rising to what may be lethal levels. Keep up the application of heat until the pipes are restored with full water pressure.

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