Frozen Pipes 101: Things to Do Before and During Winter

burst pipe repair Kansas CityDipping temperatures in Kansas often cause problems in the water system’s pipelines. Majority of the state is usually exposed to varying temperatures below freezing hence the need for every affected household to prepare themselves for costly pipeline damages.

It is best to arm yourself with these information if you want to avoid spending much on pipeline repair and water damage.

In reality, the ice forming outside a pipe do not really cause the pipe to freeze or burst. The ice’s radial expansion against the pipe’s wall is not the real cause of this, rather, the frozen water inside the pipe. Due to continuous freezing, the water inside the pipes expands causing the water pressure to increase downstream between the faucet at the top and the ice blockage down below. The increase in water pressure is what’s causing pipe breakage.

In Kansas, pipes start freezing at 20°F and weather authorities have been advising residents to take action even before the cold weather hits the region.

Things to Do Before Winter

Know Where your Shut-off Valve Is. Freezing weather or not, it is a must that you know the location of your water shut-off valve. This is important so when a pipe breaks, you would immediately know where to find it to shut it off. Normally this is installed in the crawl space or basement, beside a wall.

Have Direct Access to your Curb Stop Valve. Know where this is on your street so you know where to guide the plumbers in case of any plumbing emergency.

Drain Water Sprinklers Before the First Freeze Hits. During this season, the alternate freezing and thawing in the water system could create weak spots and cracks in the pipelines that thus trigger mini-geysers or underground leaks.

Drain Hoses and Disconnect Them from Outdoor Faucets. Make sure to turn off outdoor faucets and disconnect the hoses to ensure that they are fully drained before the winter season starts. Most houses have water valves for their outdoor water supply, turn yours off and totally drain the ones in the pipes and hoses because any amount of freezing water could damage the pipes.

Winterize Unheated Homes or Properties. If you have vacant homes or properties, make sure that they are winterized to avoid any water damages in spring. If these are left unheated and unfixed during winter, the water servicing could freeze and cause burst pipes and water damage.

Water Pipe Insulation. Ensure that pipes inside unheated basements, near windows and those attached to exterior walls are wrapped in insulation. Note that these are the ones that quickly freeze at the first sign of winter.
Things to Do When Winter Comes

Keep garage doors tightly closed to minimize the freezing air from coming in. Most pipes are routed here making them vulnerable to freezing. It is also highly recommended that cabinet doors leading to pipes like sinks are kept open to keep them warm from the heater inside homes.

Keep 1 or 2 Faucets Minimally Flowing. To keep water molecules moving, open 1 or 2 faucets open. This reduces the chance of freezing water inside pipes. Anyway, you can reuse this water for other household purposes. Just make sure that it doesn’t go to waste.

Thermostat. If you are going somewhere, ensure that the thermostat inside your home is maintained at 65 degrees.

Things to do When a Pipe is Frozen

You will notice that one of your pipes is already freezing because there would be decrease on your water flow. Do not wait for long, thaw your pipes safely yourself or call a reliable Kansas plumber as soon as possible.

If you are planning to thaw the frozen yourself, you may use a hair dryer to slowly unfreeze the water inside the pipes. With this process, it is important that slow and steady heat is used to avoid the sudden gush of water when the pipes thaw. Ensure that you are not standing on any water puddle when using this to avoid electrocution.

Thawing a frozen pipe is not an easy task so it is highly recommended to call a licensed plumber for any burst pipe repair in Kansas City. Plumbers 911 has a network of reliable service technicians who can do the job for you efficiently and quickly. They have plumbers available 24/7 even during holidays to solve plumbing problems such as toilet repair in Kansas City, leak detection in Kansas City, home remodeling in Kansas City, mainline video services in Kansas City, even sub-metering installation and repair in Kansas City!

Posted on: July 28, 2016