When water freezes, it expands. However, your water pipes will not expand, and this exposes them to the risk of bursting and causing costly water damage in and around your home. The plumbing professionals at Tureks Plumbing Services in Appleton, Wisconsin, reveal that matters don’t have to get that bad since there are measures that you can take to prevent the pipes from freezing. The following discussion points out the many ways to prevent frozen water pipes this winter.
Wrap the Pipes in Heater Tape
You can prevent water pipes from freezing by buying heater tape from a reliable supplier and wrapping that tape around the pipes. Talk to a plumber in Appleton, Wisconsin, about the best UL-approved tape that will protect your pipes. Make sure that you follow the specific usage instructions provided by the tape manufacturer. For example, avoid wrapping insulation on the heater tape if the manufacturer warns against doing so.
Insulate the Pipes from the Cold Ambient Air
Another way to keep the water pipes in your home warm is by keeping the cold air from getting to those pipes. This method entails wrapping the pipes in foam tape designed for insulating pipes. While wrapping the pipes, check and confirm that no gaps exist in the insulation. Fox Valley plumbers recommend that you miter all the foam tape ends that meet at pipe corners and keep them in place using duct tape. This method will simply prolong the time it takes for the ambient cold to reach the pipes, but it isn’t a permanent fix to the possibility of frozen pipes.
Open the Taps
If you happen to experience a power disruption on a particularly cold night, don’t resign to the possibility that the water pipes will freeze. Instead, Tureks Plumbing Services recommends that you open the faucets so that a tiny amount of water keeps dripping out of the pipes, thereby preventing them from freezing. The amount of water that you lose when you do this will be nothing if compared to the costs you could incur when the pipes freeze and burst, triggering massive water damage after thawing.
Seal Any Gaps Near Pipes
The approach of winter may also be the time for you to check around all water pipes and identify any gaps in the walls. Fix those gaps using caulk or any other appropriate material so that cold air from outside doesn’t get in and cause the pipes to freeze. Invite an Appleton, Wisconsin plumber to inspect your home for any hidden gaps just so you are sure that these leaks won’t expose your water pipes to the risk of freezing and bursting.
Adjust the Thermostat
Changing the settings of the thermostat in your home can also protect your water pipes from freezing and bursting. Appleton Wisconsin plumbers recommend that you set the thermostat to at least 13°C (55°F). This temperature setting will be high enough to prevent the water in the pipes from freezing. Warm air will also get to the attic and other unconditioned spaces, thereby protecting the pipes there as well.
Drain the Water Lines
The water pipes in and outside your home will not freeze if there is no water in them. It, therefore, follows that another winterization measure that you can take is to drain all the water lines, starting with the main water line and all the lines supplying the different points of use in your homes, such as the kitchen faucet and the dishwasher.
A good place to start is by locating the main shutoff valve found outside your home near the street. Turn this valve off and then locate the other shutoff valve located either in your basement or in a box outdoors close to the exterior wall. Turn this off, too, and then open the faucets to drain all the water left in the pipes.
If the flow doesn’t stop, Tureks Plumbing Services advises that you check again to confirm that you turned off the shutoff valves in the two locations mentioned above.
Check for Leaks
Inspect all the water supply lines and see if you can find any detectable water leaks. Fix the leaks that you find before the cold weather sets in. If you aren’t up to this task, call an Appleton Wisconsin plumber for help.
The measures above can be of great help in reassuring you that you have done what you can to prevent the water pipes on your property from freezing. However, there is a possibility that your winterization efforts are not enough, especially if you live in an area that is particularly prone to very cold winters. The best way to be certain that your plumbing pipes are safe is by inviting a plumber from Tureks Plumbing Services to conduct a thorough winterization inspection. We’ll make sure that your pipes are ready for the winter. Contact us today to set up an appointment. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services in the Appleton, Wisconsin areas.