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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

How to Avoid This #1 Winter Plumbing Emergency

It may seem really odd to already be talking about winter. After all, summer hasn’t even officially ended, and cooler temperatures haven’t quite steadied out yet. Still though, even if you’ve lived in our area for only a year, you know just how chilly, and unpredictable, lower temperatures and associated weather can be. So it’s important that your home is ready!

How do we propose you do that? Well, start by looking at your plumbing. Burst pipes are among the most common reasons we get Winnetka, IL emergency plumbing calls. And they’re caused by frozen pipes. Fortunately, this can be prevented. Read on to learn more.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

Adding insulation to your home is usually something we’d tell you to leave to the professionals. But this is when we’re talking about home insulation, not pipe insulation. Insulating your pipes is something you can (and should) do before temperatures cool. All you need is some pipe insulating sleeves cut to the size you need. These can be found online or at any hardware store. You can even substitute them with “pool noodles” floatation devices–they’re made from the same material!

There’s no messy spray or anything you have to deal with in order to insulate your pipes. Oh, and it’s a good idea to check that your hot water line is insulated as well. It won’t freeze, however when temperatures get cold enough then your hot water line is going to lose heat faster, meaning your water heater will have to run more often and use more energy to provide you with hot water!

Open Your Cabinets and Drawers

Sure, this doesn’t seem like a very aesthetically pleasing thing to do in your home, but you’ll probably care more when you have frozen pipes you could have prevented! We’re thinking about functionality here, and we don’t mean leave your cabinets wide open. But just cracked a little. Why? Because this allows the airflow from your heater to get in and provide ongoing warmth to exposed pipes beneath your sinks.

Think about the summertime and how hot it gets in those cabinets because there’s no airflow from your air conditioner–the same concept applies in the wintertime.

Drain Outdoor Faucets

Drain your outdoor faucets and hoses, and then leave them open. This will prevent a water build up from freezing. It’s also a good idea if you have an unfinished basement to shut off water to any sinks or unused water fixtures you have down there as well. Otherwise, you can leave a small trickle of water going on the coldest days. The constant stream of water, no matter how small, will help prevent the standing water from freezing.

Remember, if your pipes do freeze, you want to call our plumbers. Trying to thaw frozen plumbing on your own can actually do more harm than good, and can even cause injury, due to the pressure created by the thawing process.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

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