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Ken's Plumbing | Blog

How To Stop Your Pipes From Freezing

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Dec 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM


frozen.jpgFrozen pipes are never convenient and usually end up costing you a pretty penny. While we do live in Upstate, SC and don't often experience the same weather as New York or Michigan, we have still been called out to homes in regards to a frozen pipe issue. We've also discussed what to do if your pipes burst, but let's talk about a few things you can do as a homeowner to prevent yourself from getting into this predictament in the first place. 

Preventative Action

Keep garage doors closed if you have water supply lines installed in there: 

  • Pipes are more prone to freezing due to their location—especially in unheated areas of the home. Your garage isn't a typical place to keep heated, so keeping all doors shut as much as possible helps seal out the cold air.
  • Take this same precaution when dealing with exterior pipes, such as your garden hoses. When water in the hose freezes, the hose expands, increasing pressure throughout the whole plumbing system. Before the cold front hits us, it's a good idea to disconnect and drain all your garden hoses.  
  • You can also place an electric heater near your pipes to keep the water at above-freezing temperature levels.

Let water drip from the faucet so your pipes won't freeze:

  • When we say drip, we mean drip.
  • Don't run your water bill up by turning the faucet onto full blast; all you need is a little drip coming out of your faucets.
  • You can even take turns turning on different faucets in your house if you'd like. Water running through the your pipes helps prevent a frozen one.

But what if I already have a frozen pipe?

If a trickle comes out of your faucet when you turn it on, there's probably a frozen pipe. Most issues are found in exterior walls or near your water tank. Keep your faucet wide open as running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe. This is why we recommended above to make sure you let your faucets drip!

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature all day and night: 

  • In older model homes, we've discovered improper insulation in the wall structure. If you have the extra cash, go ahead and try to get those walls insulated as fast as possible.
  • If you need to wait it out a bit, we get that, so we offer a second option: turning up your thermostat to increase air flow in the walls and through the floor.
  • The heat reaches the crawlspace and keeps your pipes from freezing. We recommend the thermostat being no more than 72 degrees in the winter, and keeping it at the same temperature prevents a pipe burst. 

Leaving for the weekend? Keep the heat on in your home and set the temperature no lower than 55 degrees: 

  • If you plan to leave your house for a long weekend or an extended period of time, we recommend additional maintenance to your home before you head off.
  • Don't set your thermostat any lower than 55 degrees. In South Carolina, we don't see the need for it being below 60, anyway.
  • Be sure you shut off your main water supply and drain the system by openig all faucets and flushing the toilets. 

If you are experiencing extreme pipe freezing, give us a call at Ken's immediately! We are in operation 24/7/364— everyday but Christmas. If you join our Diamond Club, we make you and your home's plumbing our top-priority AND you get 10% off all plumbing repairs. Call us today at (864) 242-5511 or click the banner below to schedule a service with us.

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Topics: Pipes