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“Do I Need to Worry about Frozen Pipes This Winter?”

brown-pipe-with-icicles-drippingIf you’ve lived in the area for even just a year, then you know how chilly our winters get. And sure, we’re not quite there yet, but now is the time to start thinking about it so you can prepare. One way to prepare that we share often is to invest in maintenance for your heating system. This ensures you have trouble-free heating throughout our colder months, and your heater lasts longer too.

But your HVAC system isn’t the only thing that needs attention–so too does your plumbing system! Just a couple consecutive days of below-freezing weather can result in frozen pipes, which is a bigger deal than many homeowners realize. So yes, it is something you should worry about. But, it’s not something you can’t do anything about! Read on to learn more.

Frozen Pipes Are a Problem…

Sure, on the surface it seems pretty apparent why frozen pipes are a problem. They prevent you from using the impacted area of plumbing. But did you know that this isn’t the biggest problem? The danger of frozen pipes actually comes from the thawing process.

What happens when your pipes are thawing is that negative pressure is created, and this pressure results in pipe ruptures, otherwise known as burst pipes. We do not suggest trying to thaw your pipes on your own, for this reason! You could wind up damaging the plumbing further, causing water damage, or even hurting yourself.

…But You Can Prevent Them!

That’s right, you can help your household avoid this problem altogether. How so? Read on!

Drain the outdoor faucets, leaving them open. These pipes are in the portion of your plumbing system that’s most susceptible to freezing, naturally. If you have outdoor faucets that are used for sprinkler systems or hoses, you’ll want to turn off the water flow to these points, leaving them open.

Disconnect your hoses. Speaking of hoses, they’re also prone to freezing! Be sure to disconnect, drain, and store them in a relatively warm spot, even if it’s a shed or your garage.

Insulate the pipes. Fortunately, this isn’t something that takes a lot of time or money. You can purchase some insulating sleeves from any hardware store, or even use towels, to place around pipes that are prone to freezing. This includes pipes that are exposed in your basement, pipes under your bathroom and kitchen sinks, and anywhere else that a pipe leads outdoors, like your washing machine for example.

Keep your cabinets cracked open this winter. This may seem like a bizarre tip, but hear us out! Do you know the cabinets that your kitchen and bathroom sink pipes are hidden in? They don’t get much heat in there, especially if they’re in outdoor-facing walls. Keeping these cabinets open allows heat from your heating system to reach them, making it less likely that they’ll have any freezing problems.

Established in 1912, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource for a reliable emergency plumber in Chatham, and much more. Reach out to us today.

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