During the winter months, the weather can drop to below freezing, especially at night. That means that the water running through and around your pipes may freeze, causing a frozen pipe situation that can be damaging to pipes and disruptive to the plumbing in your home or office. With frozen pipes, you may not be able to wash dishes, take a shower, or even have drinking water! And if a drain line freezes, it can actually cause damage to your roof! Luckily, there are several steps you can take to prevent frozen drain lines from causing damage, or from even occurring at all.
Get Rid of Clogs and Excess Water
Snow and ice can clog your drain line, and the situation becomes worse quickly if your drain pipes are already clogged from past debris. Water trapped within the drain pipe can freeze and even cause roof damage. Make sure your drain pipes are cleared and cleaned before the next snowstorm to give the pipes the space to manage excess snow and ice without causing a major buildup, and without leaving freezable standing water stuck inside a clog in your pipe. Additionally, you can clear water out of any outdoor pipes by closing your exterior shut-off valve (if you have one).
Keep Your Pipes Warm and Insulated
If your home is warm, it will help keep your pipes warm enough not to freeze. Keep the heat on, and leave cabinet doors open to enable the heat to reach the pipes. Try to insulate pipes in unheated areas as best you can. You can purchase pipe insulators and install them yourself, or your plumber can help you pick the right ones and install them for you. Another trick is to let a trickle of water drip from your sink faucet; the open faucet releases pressure in the pipeline, which prevents a burst if the pipe does freeze.
What Should You Do If Your Pipe Does Freeze?
If you notice your faucet has a weird smell or isn’t producing any water at all, it’s a strong clue that you have a frozen pipe. If you look under your sink and see frost on the outside of your pipes, that’s another clue. With frozen pipes, you need to act quickly so they don’t burst. Don’t put added pressure on them by trying to run the water. Instead, call your plumber to get the issue resolved as soon as possible. It can be risky to try and thaw the pipes yourself, though some have seen success warming up the pipe themselves using a hair dryer or a portable heater. We recommend you get professional help so matters don’t become worse or linger for too long, risking a cracked or burst pipe.
If you experience frozen pipes or drain lines, an experienced plumbing company such as All County Sewer can help you get the water flowing again. Call your plumber as soon as you notice a problem so you don’t end up dealing with the mess and expense of bigger plumbing issues. By taking the precautions listed above and staying in touch with your plumber at the first sign of trouble, your pipes are sure to get through the winter with minimal issue.