Whether you're away from home when freezing temperatures hit or you've
forgotten to leave the faucets dripping, a frozen pipe can lead to it
bursting and flooding your home. Preventing frozen pipes in Columbus,
Ohio, is a fairly simple maintenance routine that should be part of your
home winterization. Knowing how to thaw a pipe that's accidentally been left exposed
to the elements can save you time and money in potential damage.
Pipes that are most at risk for becoming frozen include those located on
the exterior of your home in a sink or spigot and those located in crawlspaces,
basements, and attic spaces that are unheated. Galvanized pipes found
in older homes are more likely to freeze than newer models. For your reference,
we've outlined below the ways to prevent frozen pipes and thaw them
out in winter.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep a close eye on weather reports. As soon as the weather starts to dip
below freezing, you'll need to make sure your prevention methods are in place.
- Insulate the pipes. Wrapping pipes and outdoor spigots in insulation can
protect against freezing. To do so, clean your pipes first and allow them
to dry. Foil and fiberglass insulation are both good choices for winterization.
Wrap the insulation with a slight overlap and secure with a sturdy tape.
Make sure you insulate both hot and cold water lines during this process.
- Close outdoor leading vents. Vents that might be in your crawlspace or
attic should be closed in winter time to prevent the cold from seeping in.
- Close your garage doors. When the weather is below freezing, your garage
is another way that heat can escape and pipes can become frozen.
- Drain hoses and pools.
- Install a heat sleeve. If you anticipate freezing temperatures over a longer
period of time, installing a product near the pipes that will keep them
warmer 24/7 might be a good idea. Heating products specifically made to
protect pipes include sleeves, cables, or tapes.
- Open cabinets. If you heat your home with a central fireplace or wood burning
stove, other areas of your home might be susceptible to freezing temperatures.
Opening cabinets that face the exterior of your home, in particular, will
allow for the circulation of warmer air and decrease the odds of frozen pipes.
- Don't leave your home and turn off the thermostat. Leave your home
thermostat set at least at 55 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the likelihood
of indoor pipes freezing.
- Let your faucets drip. Letting your faucets drip slowly throughout the
freezing spell can reduce the amount of pressure on pipes and decrease
the chance of your pipes bursting.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
- Keep all faucets open so that when the ice starts to melt, the running
water can help melt more ice.
- Look for any additional frozen pipes around your home.
- Apply heat. Using a heating pad, hairdryer, or other heat source, keep
constant heat on the pipes until the water melts. You'll need to continue
applying heat until your water pressure returns to normal. Do not use
a source of open flame to thaw your pipes.
If you can't find the frozen pipe or you run into other difficulties,
contact a professional plumbing service in Columbus like The Eco Plumbers.