Protect your Plumbing from Frozen Northern Illinois Weather.
Its finally Spring and we are fortunate to have gotten through another Frigid and Cold Winter – Follow these tips to get through the next frigid Winter and Protect your Pipes, Plumbing and Fixtures.
While we appreciate your business, the best way to protect yourself from the perils of frozen & burst pipes is to prevent them from freezing in the first place… Here are some tips:
- Any time freezing temperatures are expected, be sure your home’s thermostat is turned on to heat mode, and set at 55° F or higher. NEVER turn off the heat unless your home has been professionally winterized (see below).
- Pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are often run within outside building walls, located in unheated or outside areas, or exposed to air currents leaking through holes in the structure.
- Exposed pipes subject to freezing temperatures should be insulated, and they can also be wrapped with self-regulating heat cables (always follow heat cable manufacturer’s installation instructions).
- You should disconnect outside hoses, and protect hose faucets with insulated faucet covers.
- If you have interior shutoff valves for outside faucets, shut them off and drain the piping. Valve tags should be installed on shutoff valves to aid in identifying them.
- While dripping water from the hot & cold taps on a faucet will cause the water in the supply pipes to move, making it less susceptible to freezing, beware of the ‘law of unintended consequences’! If the fixture’s drain pipe runs in the same cold area with the supply pipes, that water dripping from the faucet could freeze and clog the drain, with disastrous potential consequences! Be careful and make sure your drain doesn’t back up.
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow warm inside air to circulate around pipes.
- If a pipe does freeze, turn off the water supply to the pipe to reduce pressure, and prevent flooding if the pipe bursts.
- Know where your MAIN WATER SHUTOFF VALVE is located, be sure that it’s tagged and in working order, and know how to use it! It can make the difference between a nuisance and a disaster. In case you couldn’t tell, we feel pretty strongly about this one. If you are able to shut off the water quickly when a leak is spotted, rather than having to wait for a plumber or the municipality to respond, the disaster you avoid is potentially huge!
- If a frozen pipe is visible, you can use a hair dryer to thaw it and restore flow. NEVER use a torch or any other open flame, because of the risk of fire! Enough houses have burned down because of this. Trust us, don’t do it!
- There are lots of things to remember if you want to winterize a home that will be unoccupied for an extended time. We recommend calling a professional – like us – to make sure you don’t end up with any unpleasant surprises next spring!
- A lot of burst pipes and leaks occur when frozen pipes THAW, not necessarily when they first freeze. Keep an eye out for leaks that begin when the temperatures begin to warm up after a deep freeze… A loud bang in a wall could be a chunk of ice dislodging and flying down the pipe, hitting the next turn – an impact that could rupture the pipe, causing a leak!
- Remember, you can always call HT Strenger Plumbing for fast, friendly service! If you see a leak, if a faucet stops working, if a drain backs up, or if you just want a thorough peace-of-mind checkup for your plumbing system, we’re here to help with all of your plumbing needs.
So, remember to respect this dangerous weather, and be safe. And as always, call us if there is anything we can do to help!