The damages, expenses and the messes that can be caused from a water line that freezes and bursts are nothing that anyone wants to experience, and Indianapolis plumbing companies start dealing with the implications of cold weather as soon as the temperatures begin to drop. Many customers ask us, "Why did this happen?!"
Why Do Pipes Burst In Winter?
The basic answer is that the water coming into the house from outside is much colder than it was during the summer months. This colder water causes your pipes to contract and this contraction often causes leaks from areas of the pipe that had weakened over time.
Check for Water Leaks
There are no practical ways of heating up the temperature of the ground around your home, so stopping the contraction caused by the cold water is not something you can control. Our advice is to be mindful of your plumbing system as the temperatures change and check to see if you have any leaks. While we can't stop the leaks caused by temperature drops, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. As always, feel free to contact us here at Hope Plumbing if you have any questions or concerns.
Ways to Prevent Pipes From Bursting
- If it is extremely cold outside, keep one or two faucets running slowly at all times. Water moving through the system should prevent the line from freezing.
- Often times, the pipes that freeze are located near an outside wall or a window, so be sure to direct warm air to any colder areas of your home. (Start in your basement and look for any pipes near the exterior of the home.)
- If your kitchen sink is on an outside wall (it usually is), be sure to leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air into the cabinet. Your kitchen faucet is usually a good faucet to leave on during extremely cold weather.
- Be sure to disconnect your hose from the outside faucet. If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib and will likely freeze and break the device.
- There is a product called heat tape that can be installed and will warm pipes as needed during cold weather. While you could do this yourself, you may want to consult with an Indianapolis plumber to learn some best practices.
- Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
- Prevent temperatures from dropping below 32 degrees in any areas of your home where water lines are located.
- If you still have concerns about your system, call a licensed plumber and ask them to come to your home and advise you about how to prevent pipes from freezing.
Have Your Pipes Already Burst? It May Be Time for a Repair
The above prevention tips are great techniques to put into practice this winter season. However, if you have already experienced a burst pipe, don't attempt a repair on your own. The team of qualified professionals at Hope Plumbing can perform expert maintenance and repair services to get your pipes back up and running. To find out more about how we can help and the services we offer, please give us a call today.