Preventing and Identifying Frozen Pipes
The most common plumbing issue homeowners face during the winter is frozen and burst pipes. If temperatures dip below freezing, the water in pipes can freeze, particularly in pipes in colder or uninsulated areas of your home, such as attics, basements, and exterior walls. When the water freezes, it will expand, and this can cause the pipes to break, crack, or burst.
No one wants to deal with severe water damage and a ruined water system during the winter. That’s why you want to be sure you take the necessary steps to lower the likelihood of frozen pipes and know what indicates a pipe could be frozen this winter. That way, you can catch it before the pipe bursts.
How to Prepare Your Pipes for Winter
There are several essential steps to make your pipes less susceptible to freezing:
- Fully functioning heating. When your home is heated, the pipes inside are less likely to freeze.
- Leave faucets dripping. If you aren’t heating your home for a while, leave the faucets on, dripping slightly. This will keep water moving through the pipes and relieve pressure. This is also a good idea even when you are home and temperatures are freezing.
- Turn off outside water valves. Also, be sure to empty them of water and leave them open. Any water that freezes will have room to expand without harming the pipe.
- Insulate pipes and water supply lines. In lower-insulated places, wrap pipes with foam, fabric, or another insulating material.
Signs That You Have a Frozen Pipe
Here are some common symptoms of a frozen pipe:
- Changes in water pressure, such as low pressure or no water at all
- Increased water bills
- Constant water leaks throughout the house
- Gurgling or banging noises in pipes
- Smelly or discolored water
- Visible condensation or frost
Your Reliable Plumbing Team
If you suspect you are dealing with frozen pipes, contact our Birmingham Plumbing, Heating & Cooling team before the issue becomes more severe and expensive.