4 Easy Steps to Help Prevent Water-pipe Damage

The unusually cold temperatures that Memphis is currently experiencing will cause all kinds of chaos, including frozen water pipes. If the pipes burst as a result of the cold, this can be a major nightmare and will require Broken water line repair services. The good news is, it’s something that can be prevented with the proper precautions.

For climates that rarely see extremely cold temperatures like what we’re currently experiencing with the ‘bomb cyclone’ weather system, water pipes are particularly vulnerable to freezing due to a lack of insulation around the pipes. Here are a few tips from Johns Manville to help prevent frozen water pipes:

1. If you know temperatures are going to be extremely cold, keep thermostats high and open cabinet doors under sinks that are located on outside walls
2. Leave water dripping on all faucets, for two-handle faucets, have hot AND cold water dripping
3. Wrap exposed water pipes with insulation
4. Add insulation to walls to help keep the hidden pipes protected as well.

If you need help winterizing your plumbing system, a professional plumber can help ensure that pipe damages are prevented.

“Adding insulation to exposed water pipes is one of the easiest DIY home-improvement projects to do,” says Tommy Knappich, VP and General Manager of Building Insulation at Johns Manville. “If you take further preventative measure in the future, adding wall insulation is not a difficult task and will help protect those pipes that are not exposed, and keep your home more comfortable in all types of weather.”

How will you know if your pipes have frozen? You’ll turn the faucet on and nothing will happen. This is the best-case scenario because it can be easily remedied. What you don’t want to happen is for the pipes to burst as a result of being frozen.

If you notice that a pipe has frozen, search exposed pipes for the frozen area:

· Feel the pipes with your hand to find the area of the pipe that is colder than others
· Look for drips coming from the pipe, or frost build-up on the pipe
· Use a screwdriver handle or another blunt object, to gently tap the pipe listening for a “solid” sound

Quick action to thaw the pipe will help prevent bursting. Once you’ve found where the pipe has frozen, here’s how to unthaw it:

· Turn the faucet on, also turn on nearby faucets to a trickle. The water from adjoining faucets may get to the frozen section and help thaw the ice
· Use a hair dryer and run it back and forth along the pipe. Make sure to keep it moving any uneven or sudden heating can rupture the pipe.
· Add salt to the frozen drain
· Wrap the pipe in hot towels, replacing them ever 5- 10 minutes until the water is running
· DO NOT add boiling water to the pipe – a sudden temperature change will cause the pipe to burst.

“Adding insulation can be a weekend project that will create peace-of-mind during these extreme weather situations,” said Knappich. “Installing the insulation properly can be just as important as adding insulation. For instance, ensuring the insulation is split around pipes so that a portion of the insulation is between the pipe and the wall will keep the pipe from being exposed to more cold.” For more information about how to insulate your home for comfort and energy efficiency please consult Johns Manville’s helpful how-to videos.

Photo Credit: DevoKit via pixabay

Article Credit: The Integer Group

Jamie Richardson

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