Cincinnati doesn’t tend to get as cold as cities to the north, but temperatures can plummet below 20 degrees, and a storm can bring on a power outage. It’s wise to be mindful of what winter weather can do to your home. Frozen pipes, for example, are a real possibility.
You want to avoid this at all costs, as a pipe can burst and create a very messy situation.
Homes built as recently as the 1970s frequently lack sufficient wall insulation. This means that if a kitchen or bathroom sink is along an exterior wall, your plumbing could be exposed to more cold than it should be. As precautionary measures:
- Insulate your pipes. Home improvement stores carry a range of plumbing-line insulation. Your options include foil and fiberglass. Perhaps the easiest option is tubular insulation, which can be cut to measure and wrapped around a pipe. All of these supplies are available at home-improvement stores.
- Seal the gaps around the plumbing lines coming into your home. Expanding-foam should do the job.
- You may even want to talk with your plumbing contractor about relocating your pipes, especially if they’ve locked up before. This tends to be an expensive alternative, but it may be worth discussing with your plumber.
If temperatures plummet before you can do your preventive maintenance, take the following measures:
- Let your faucets slowly drip. This will help to prevent a freeze-up.
- Open the cabinets under your sink. This will allow warmer air from the room to circulate under the sink.
- If a pipe does freeze, try using a hair blower or a heating pad to thaw it. Never use a blow torch or any other flame. A better approach is calling your plumber, who can get the pipe thawed before it bursts. The pipe, by the way, isn’t likely to burst where it’s frozen, but instead at a point between the ice and the faucet.
If you plan to be away for an extended time during the holidays, consider draining your system before you leave. Turn off the main valve, and let all the faucets run until no more water comes out. This should prevent a freeze-up while you’re gone.
At Apollo Home Comfort, we know how important it is to keep your water lines maintained. We can help you do that, whether it’s winter or summer. Call us with any questions. We’re happy to help.
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