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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

How to Resolve (And Prevent) Frozen Pipes

icicles-hanging-off-pipeWhen you live in a place with icy winters, you’ll face the same concern every year with your plumbing: the fear of frozen pipes. Handling frozen pipes is an important job for anyone who does professional plumbing in Wilmette, IL for a living. We’ve certainly handled our fair share of frozen pipe repairs in the years we’ve been in business.

What can you do about frozen pipes? The simple answer is to call us. There are various “home remedies” you can uncover online, but attempting to thaw a frozen pipe often leads to the pipe bursting because of the increase in internal pressure. We’re ready to help when you have frozen pipes, and we have 24/7 service available. We are here for you!

For the rest of this post, we’ll go into some important tips on how you can avoid frozen pipes in the first place. 

Insulate exposed pipes

Wherever you can see the piping in your house, such as in the garage or basement, have them insulated so they won’t lose enough heat that they’ll freeze. You can purchase insulation sleeves for pipes from home improvement stores and cut them to the right length to guard each pipe. If you want more extensive insulation for the pipes, talk to our plumbers. 

Don’t let the house get colder than 55°F

When you leave the house for any extended period during the winter, such as for a vacation, always set the thermostat to 55°F and leave the heating system on. The heater will run only occasionally, but keeping the house just above 55°F will help prevent the pipes from freezing. (As a bonus, it will cost you less in energy to heat up the home again when you return if it isn’t teeth-chatteringly cold.)

Open up sink cabinet doors

Stopping drain pipes under sinks from freezing can be as simple as opening up the cabinet doors for a stretch. This lets the warmer air from the house circulate around the pipes and keep them warm enough so they won’t freeze. 

Let water flow from unused taps

There are likely several taps in your house that don’t receive much use (such as in an empty or guest bedroom). Once a week, let a bit of water flow from them. This creates movement in the pipes that stops freezing. 

Drain outdoor hoses and detach them from hose bibs

If you have outdoor hoses, drain out any water that’s still inside them so they won’t freeze. Detach the hoses from the hose bibs, because otherwise freezing inside the hose will go right into the house pipes and cause them to freeze as well. We also recommend getting hose bib covers to insulate them: they are weak points in your house during winter.

Have any pipe leaks repaired ASAP

Leaking pipes are bad all on their own, and in the winter they get worse because they easily allow for pipes to freeze. If you have any leaks you haven’t had repaired, call our plumbers right away so we can fix them. 

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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