How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are the bane of many a homeowner. Instead of just one problem, frozen pipes are many problems at once, and can lead to flooding and major structural damage. Unfortunately, hiring a plumber won’t fix this problem. Fortunately, you can prevent frozen pipes. It will take a few steps, but it will be well worth it. The alternative is costly in both time and money. In this article, we’ll go over some of these steps, including:

How to Prepare Before Winter Arrives

There are three main culprits behind your pipes freezing:
  1. Your pipes are poorly insulated
  2. The temperature dropped quickly
  3. The thermostat set at too low a temperature
The first step you can take is insulating your pipes properly. Exposed piping is far more likely to freeze when the weather turns cold. Use as much insulation as you need. It’s better to be a little overcautious than to risk exposed pipes. The second step you can take is sealing leaks near to your pipes, so cold air doesn’t get to them. Some common places this might be a problem are near vents and electrical wiring. Calking should seal those up easily enough. Thirdly, make sure not to keep your thermostat too low.

What to Do About Your Pipes Once the Temperature Drops

Even with all the preparation in the world, pipes can still freeze in extreme conditions. Since Oklahoma is known for it’s crazy weather, we recommend you take a few more steps once winter comes around.
This first thing you should do is periodically run warm water through your pipes. If you can, trickle warm water through the pipes overnight. Above, we mentioned not allowing the thermostat to drop too low. You also need to make sure to consistently keep your home that temperature. In other words, if you normally turn down the thermostat when you go to bed, don’t. It could cause your pipes to freeze. Finally, open cabinet doors to help the heat in your home reach the pipes.

What Should I Do if My Pipes Freeze?

Sometimes it’s just impossible to prevent frozen pipes. If that happens to you, though, all is not lost. Remain calm, and do the following:
  • Turn on all your faucets. If no water comes out, leave them on then contact a plumber as soon as possible.
  • If there’s standing water anywhere, while you’re in that area DO NOT use any household that require electricity. Otherwise, you run the risk of being electrocuted.
  • Don’t try to use a blow torch to thaw your pipes. However, if you own a hair dryer, you can try using that.
  • Should the pipes burst, turn off your water. Inform anyone else in the house about the situation.
After that, you’ll want to call a professional to find out how to proceed.