What to do About Those Frozen Pipes
If you have experienced a pipe bursting in your home before, you know how much of a nightmare it can be. Not only does the pipe leak gallons of water but whatever is in the water’s path could be ruined. In fact, according to State Farm, the average insurance claim for water damage due to frozen pipes bursting averages at $15,000! This doesn’t even include the costs of getting the water pipes repaired. It is not fun to go through this. Unfortunately, bursting pipes are often a problem in places like Georgia where the temperatures are not too cold and then are hit with a cold snap (sound familiar?). If not properly protected, pipes will often freeze when temperatures drop below twenty degrees. So, what can you do?
First, we recommend spending a little bit of money on prevention so not to spend a lot later on repairs. This could mean insulating your pipes or using heated pipe wraps that are now widely available. The pipes that are most likely to freeze are the ones that are in unheated areas of your home, like the basement, crawlspace, garage or in kitchen cabinets. Also at risk are outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool lines, sprinkler lines and pipes that run against the exterior walls with little or no insulation. These lines you want to pay close attention to and make sure they are ready for the cold temperatures.
Second, you might need to take further actions to prevent pipes from freezing when the cold snap actually hits. Sometimes you might not be fully prepared for the cold snap and need to have quick actions that you can do to help protect the pipes. These actions include closing the garage doors when it is very cold, open kitchen and bath cabinets to allow warm air to flow through, letting water drip from a faucet (even a small trickle will help), and keeping your thermostat set at the same temperature (a higher heating bill will be better than repair costs later).
Third, you need to be aware of what to do if a pipe is frozen to try to keep it from bursting. If you have a frozen pipe somewhere in your home, your first sign will be when you turn on the faucet there is only a trickle of water. Sometimes you might even see ice on the outside of the pipes. If you do happen to catch when a pipe is frozen, you can take these actions to thaw it out to prevent it from bursting:
- Make sure to keep the faucet open so when it does start to thaw, water can flow freely
- Apply heat to the frozen section (if accessible). You can do this by using a hair dryer, a portable space heater or even wrapping the pipe with a warm, wet towel. NEVER use an open flame, a blowtorch or a kerosene or propane heater. These pose major fire risks.
If you are not able to locate the frozen section of the pipe, this is when you want to call in a professional like Hubb Plumbing. We will have the tools and know how to help find that frozen section and help thaw it out.
We hope this is helpful information for you. If you do have a pipe burst, make sure to turn the water off and give Hubb Plumbing a call at (404) 925-4675 and we’ll help repair the pipe quickly for you. Stay warm this winter; we’re almost through it!
Want to read more check out last months Blog Post.
Thanks for reading
3695 Hewatt Ct SW
Snellville, GA 30039