Frozen pipes are something homeowners in Kansas have to be prepared for, due to the freezing winter weather. When frozen water lines burst, they can quickly cause flooding and expensive water damage to your home. Here are some easy preventive measures you can take to help minimize the risk.
Unhook the Garden Hose
A frozen garden hose that’s left attached to an outdoor faucet can cause the connected interior pipe to burst. Protect your pipes by disconnecting all water hoses, draining them, and putting them away in storage. If there’s a shutoff valve for your home’s outdoor faucets, turn it off and open the spigots to ensure all the water is completely drained.
Exposed Interior Pipes
Pipes located in unheated portions of your home, like the garage, attic or crawl space, pose a bigger risk for freezing than the pipes in heated parts of your home. Make sure exposed pipes are wrapped in foam pipe insulation, thermostatically controlled heat tape, or even newspaper for an added layer of protection.
Open Cabinet Doors
On exceptionally cold days, opening the cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathrooms can help keep your pipes warm by making it easier for warm air to circulate and reach the pipes. Letting water drip slowly from each faucet will keep water flowing through the pipes and minimize the risk of freezing, too.
Winterize Sprinkler System
Sprinkler systems usually have a backflow preventer or well connections that are above ground and exposed to the cold, these are the first pipes to freeze. Winterizing the system removes all water from the system, ensuring no pipes or parts will burst. Water expands as it freezes inside sprinkler systems, and the pipes and parts can easily break. Underground pipes are at less risk, but during a deep freeze the lines of a sprinkler system can crack or burst. These leaks may not be found for until the spring or summer months when the system is in use.
Keep the Heat Running
While turning the heat off when you’re away on vacation may seem like a good way to save money, it may lead to more problems than you bargained for. Keep the heat on to a minimum of 55 degrees during the winter to prevent your pipes from freezing.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you turn on a faucet and only a small amount of water comes out, you may have a frozen pipe. Leave the faucet open to allow water to flow as the ice melts, which will relieve pressure in the lines and help thaw your pipes faster. Try warming the frozen section of the pipe with an electric heating pad/blanket, a space heater, or a hair dryer. Be sure to check other faucets in the home as well. If you can’t thaw the pipe yourself or can’t get to the frozen section, call a licensed plumber for assistance.
What to Do if a Water Pipe Bursts
First, shut off the water supply. Then call the professionals at Reddi at 316-491-5111 for 24/7 emergency service.
If frozen water lines are a problem every winter, consider having a plumber install heat tape or reroute pipes that are prone to freezing. Or contact our HVAC division about supply heat to areas where pipes are freezing.