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What to Do about Frozen Pipes in the Winter

Frozen pipes are the #1 threat to plumbing during a cold winter in Vermont and the Plattsburgh, NY area. Not only do frozen pipes mean that water will stop flowing through the plubming, but it can eventually lead to pipes bursting and major water loss and water damage.

How can I prevent pipes from freezing?

There are a number of steps you can take to help protect the pipes from the heat loss that leads to freezing. One of the important ones is to see that the pipes in colder parts of the home have proper insulation. Special foam pipe sleeves are helpful to keep heat trapped, and you can ask professional plumbers to assist you with pipe insulation.

Sometimes, plumbers will install special heat strips for pipes that might especially be in danger of freezing. You should also make sure that your home’s walls have adequate insulation to protect the pipes inside them—and it’s always a wise idea to have a well-insulated home to protect against winter cold.

Another technique to lower the chance of pipe freeze is to allow one of the faucets or spigots in your home to drip. This will allow water to continue to move inside the plumbing and prevent it from freezing. The best faucet for this job is one located in a sink that is farthest from the point where the water main enters the house.

What should I do if the pipes freeze anyway?

If you experience frozen pipes despite these precautions, it’s important to contact professional plumbers to handle the problem. Do not try to unfreeze the pipes yourself using heat, especially not open flames or kerosene. Keep in mind that the reason frozen pipes burst has nothing to do with the expansion of water inside it when it turns to ice. Bursting happens because of the pressure build-up in the rest of the pipe as the ice thaws. If you try to thaw the ice, you’ll probably cause a pipe to burst.

Red Rock Mechanical LLC will help you with your plumbing needs this winter in Burlington, VT and the surrounding areas. Call us if you need assistance with frozen pipes.

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