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Ways to Handle Frozen Pipes This Winter

It’s that time of year again where water can freeze and expand inside your pipes. This can cause cracked or leaking pipes, adding unwanted strain to both a homeowner’s bank account and peace of mind. Rest easy this holiday season by safeguarding your pipes with our tips.

Winterizing Indoor Pipes

There are many easy ways to ensure your indoor pipes are prepped and ready for the deep freeze. To start, know where your main water shut off is. In the off chance your pipes burst, you need to know how to shut off your water, and fast. Another good rule of thumb is to have a temporary patch kit handy, in case of small pipe leaks or cracks. When the weather improves, get a professional plumber to make a permanent repair.

Common sense plays a big part in keeping your pipes in one piece. For one, keep the heat up during the winter. Yes, your heating bill may rise, but that bill will pale in comparison to what burst pipes can cost you to fix.

Pipe Winterizing Tools

Heating cables are a handy tool to keep water in your pipes moving, especially pipes located by an exterior wall. Pick up heating cables at any hardware store and run them along the pipe in question, or wrap them around the pipe. Remember to follow the instructions for the cables work to work properly.

Cold air coming into your house during the winter can affect your pipes, so locate and seal any air leaks in your home. You can also use home insulation to cover any crawl space openings or other cold air entry points, such as the attic. If using insulation, protect yourself and wear coveralls, gloves, and a dust mask.

Winterizing Outdoor Pipes

Protecting your outdoor pipes this winter will also save you money and headaches. Use insulation tubes to prevent your outdoor pipes from bursting. The tubes are a snap to install; simply wrap them around your pipes. Be sure to drain any outdoor faucets, so all water leaves the system.

Additionally, make sure your sprinkler system is turned off in winter. A leak or crack in sprinkler pipes can be a big job to fix. Get your sprinkler provider to blow out any water in the underground lines before the cold sets in.

Dealing with Frozen Pipes

Sometimes even the most prepared homeowners have to deal with frozen pipes. If this happens to you, don’t panic. Apply heat directly to the frozen pipe, using a space heater, hair dryer, or warm towel. Opening cabinet doors, such as in kitchens and bathrooms, will get warm air circulating and can help thaw a frozen pipe. Whatever you do, NEVER use an open flame to try and thaw pipes. This is a fire hazard, not to mention extremely dangerous.

If nothing works, call Priority Plumbing, your award-winning plumbing service in Toronto that can take care of all your plumbing needs. If you’ve got frozen pipes, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 416-762-8662!

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