Are you hearing odd noises coming from your pipes or noticing water starting to pool in odd places inside your home? Don’t despair – it’s probably just a frozen pipe! Okay, that might not sound like good news, but the silver lining here is that most people have the ability and knowledge to thaw out their frozen pipes. We know it may not be a fun winter activity, but with these helpful tips from the best plumber in Vancouver Washington, you can make sure all your pipes remain undamaged – plus get yourself some serious bragging rights when spring rolls around. So buckle up, and let’s dive into everything you need to know about preventing and thawing frozen pipes!
Know You Plumbing
The best way to ensure your pipes don’t freeze in the cold winter months is to become an expert in your own plumbing! You’ll need to check for cracks or any other damage on a regular basis, as well as determine the type of material and insulation that makes up the pipeline. Shutting off outdoor water supply lines and spigots during winter will also help prevent nasty surprises when temperatures drop well below freezing. And, with a little bit of more serious research, you can understand the exact locations in which your pipes are most vulnerable and address potential issues before they become full-blown disasters. This can keep you nice and warm all season long.
Drain And Open During The Fall
Fall is a prime time to get your pipes prepped for the cold. Now, you won’t find yourself out in the frigid winter air with a blow dryer trying to thaw them out! The best way to prevent frozen pipes is by draining and opening any outdoor spigots during the fall months. Any hoses should be removed from these as well. For extra protection, leaving interior cabinet doors open can allow warmer air around exposed pipes and keep things flowing! Heck, you might even end up being so much of a maverick in wintry weather that all your neighbors will want to learn your secret!
If you want to properly prevent frozen pipes in the winter, insulating them well is key. Grab some foam insulation material, such as weatherstripping or pipe sleeves, and get to wrapping those pipes like a pro. Not only will this provide protection from cold temperatures, but it will keep their contents warm like a hot water bottle! With just one quick fix, you can be sure your pipes won’t freeze over. Trust me, insulating your pipes is the best way to go if you want to make sure that icy chill stays out of your home.
Adding extra heat exposure may sound counterintuitive during winter, but it’s actually one of the simplest methods for keeping pipes from freezing! By setting your thermostat slightly higher than usual or by using space heaters in areas with plumbing, the additional warmth creates a cozy ‘safety cocoon’ around the pipelines. While this doesn’t replace professional inspection and services (whenever possible), it’s an efficient way to reduce the chances of waking up to frozen pipes!
How To Thaw Frozen Pipes
- Find The Frozen Pipe
When it comes to frozen pipes, sometimes finding the affected area is like playing a game of hide-and-seek. If you know the general location, then it’s simply a matter of tracing the piping and feeling for any cold spots. If not, then you may have to rely on your detective skills; listen for any strange gurgling or banging sounds and look for pockets of frost coating the outside walls that indicate where the frozen pipe section is located. It may take a while, but eventually, you’ll find it – after all, you can’t keep an icy waterline hidden forever!
- Limit The Amount Of Running Water
Turn off the main water valve and open up a tap so that any steam pressure can escape. Next, apply heat directly to the pipe with a hairdryer or some towels soaked in hot water. It’s important to start from the faucet and work your way back so that the melting ice can flow out unhindered! Just remember: before doing anything else, shut that main valve off!
- Open Faucets
Go around the house and open up all the faucets, even those in areas you think might not be affected. This helps start the flow of water—and if that isn’t enough to get things going again, then try using a hairdryer or space heater on the frozen pipe itself! Pretty soon, it’ll feel like ‘water off a duck’s back’.
Winter has descended, and with it have come the dreaded frozen pipes. To avoid these frosty fiascos, make sure to keep your home’s heating at a cozy temperature. Additionally, check for drafts and fill any cracks in outside walls or foundations with caulking to mitigate cold air entering your home. If you ever find yourself in a situation where the pipes are frozen (don’t worry; we’ve all been there!), using an electric heating pad is one way to slowly thaw them out. Just wrap them up in the blanket of warmth, and you can pipe dreams of a thawed house soon enough!