How to Avoid Frozen Pipes in the Bay Area
During the winter time, it is only natural for everything to start to freeze up and that is exactly what happens to the pipes in everyone’s homes. However, people often worry so much about their winter clothes and keeping warm that they forget to get their pipes fixed or maintained regularly, until winter is around the corner.
Frozen pipes can mean no hot water, or worse, no water at all. It can also cause the pipes to rupture, which means more damage done to the entire house, which in turn becomes a bigger plumbing problem later on.
For people living in the Bay Area, California, pipes often freeze up in the winters. What’s more, people who have old pipes and those who have never gotten them fixed or changed also face major damages once the season passes.
The biggest reason why pipes freeze is due to walls that have cracks in them. This leaves small gaps for the cold to get in and that puts the pipes at risk. When a house has poor insulation, it amplifies the exposure to the cold weather, which then leads to frozen pipes.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Nobody wants to deal with frozen pipes and plumbing issues, especially during winter time when it’s cold. Here are some ways to prevent the pipes from freezing:
- If the pipes are permanently placed outside in the cold, surround them with foam or any other insulating material and wrap it around the pipes with electrical tape
- An electrical wire heating wrap around the pipes will keep them warm and prevent them from freezing up from the inside
- If the pipes are not accessible, drill holes into the wall and wrap the pipes with insulating foam to keep them warm
- If the pipes are completely unreachable, let some hot water run through the pipes, hich will assist in warming up the pipes and keep them from freezing
- Remember to close up any air leaks inside the house, which bring in the cold air from the outside (this also includes windows, doors, dryer vents and electrical wiring)
- Insulation in the house is necessary especially where all the pipes have been located
- Installing thermostat controlled heat cables for these pipes can be helpful (use the given instructions manualight advise you to remove it by the end of the season)
- Windows that are energy efficient or even storm windows
- The hoses in the backyard or gardens also have a chance of freezing up. The best option would be to disconnect them so that they don’t burst
- Shut off all the foundation vents
- Set the thermostat to its daytime setting, even when it is nighttime, during the cold weather, as the temperature increases at night and it gets colder, and the pipes are more likely to freeze then
- Pipes such as in swimming pools, garages, washing machines, pressure washers etc. will all need to be checked and heated as required so that they don’t freeze up
- If the pipes are accessible, they can be defrosted by taking a hair dryer and warming them up with hot air (make sure to never use anything with an open flame)
It’s important to make sure that the pipes in houses are always checked, fixed and maintained on a regular basis, before they freeze up or get old. Taking precautions is always a good idea because once the damage is done; it is a costly procedure to get plumbing repairs every now and then.
Calling a qualified plumber is the best option when it is a plumbing emergency. A good plumber will always provide advice and guidance about frozen pipes and any other plumbing technicalities.
For more information see https://www.calwater.com/help/customer-care/pipes-in-winter/