Winter is on its way, and homeowners need to be prepared to handle the effects of cold weather on their household. That includes the pipes and fixtures in the plumbing system. When the mercury drops, water can freeze in the pipes, and when that happens you need a quality plumber to get the matter resolved. Plumbers can also take steps to help you avoid freezing pipes in the first place. This time of year is perfect to introduce such measures: before the winter begins in earnest and while you have time to schedule a session with a trained plumber.
Why Are Frozen Pipes a Problem?
The obvious issue with frozen pipes is that they restrict the flow of water and make it impossible to use the affected fixture in your home. But it goes much further than that. When water freezes, it expands, which puts a great deal of pressure on the pipes themselves. That can lead to a breach or a burst: sending ice and freezing cold water into the surrounding material and causing a great deal of damage in the process. Frozen pipes are bed enough, but when they burst they can get very expensive very quickly.
It’s easy enough to detect frozen pipes — the lack of water flow from a given outlet is usually hard to miss — but pinpointing the spot and getting the pipes unfrozen takes a little more effort. It’s not simply a matter of applying heat to the affected section (provided you can pinpoint it). The water needs to be melted slowly and gradually, lest the heat source damage the pipes with rapid temperature change. Plumbers have the experience and the tools to do so the right way, ensuring that a relatively inexpensive procedure doesn’t end with burst pipes and an instant emergency.
An Ounce of Prevention Beats a Pound of Cure
Fixing the problem once it occurs is one thing. But good plumbers will also take steps to help you stop the problem before it starts: saving time, money and worries in the process. You can help your cause out by shutting the water off to outside outlets — things like the sprinkler system — and open the spigots to drain the water out of the pipes. You should do the same thing to the whole home this winter if you plan to leave for the holidays, and make sure the thermostat is set for 65 degrees even in the middle of the night.
Plumbers can help first by identifying potential trouble spots in your piping: notably pipes running along outside walls, pipes that sit exposed, or pipes in places like the basement that might be cooler than the rest of the house. A plumber can then insulate the pipes using various means to ensure that the water never freezes there. Finally, a good maintenance session on your hot water heater and other plumbing appliances can keep the system functioning as it should no matter how cold the weather gets.
Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for quality plumbing throughout Orem, UT