The good tips have gone badly! How to stop these records from freezing and bursting your pipes

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (KY3) –

You may never have worried about freezing or bursting water lines in your home in the past.

But with the Ozarks setting records with subzero temperatures, now is the time to consider it.

The point is, the pipes in your home or business are at risk of freezing whenever the temperatures drop below 20 degrees. This is of course not a hard and fast rule as the susceptibility of your pipes to freezing depends on many factors based on the ability of cold air to reach certain parts of your water system.

But given the temperatures the area is facing this week, there is no doubt that our plumbing is put to the test, so it is best to think about what you can do to keep your pipes from freezing and / or dying. ‘burst because the plumbers have their hands full already.

At All-Service Professional Plumbing in Springfield, general manager Rich Callahan said his business was inundated even before the worst snowfall hit Monday.

“I have 50 employees and almost all of them worked after 3 am last night,” he said. “We are firmly reserved. “

When it comes to flooding caused by broken pipes, 37% of these incidents occur in basements.

“The basements have flooding issues because a lot of them are in unconditioned spaces and there’s this cold there,” Callahan said. “And a lot of times there aren’t any conduits going down into those areas and those concrete exterior walls get really cold. They also tend to freeze. Here too we have a lot of what we call “crawl space houses” where the ducts are under the house and when you turn on the heat there are natural leaks from your ducts which radiate heat under your house. to keep the pipes from freezing. But if your system is in the attic and your plumbing is in the crawl space, your pipes will freeze much faster.

So here are some ways to keep your pipes from freezing and bursting:

1.) Insulate your pipes

2.) Keep garage doors closed especially if your water supply line goes through the garage

3.) Keep your cabinets where the pipes are open to allow hot air to circulate

4.) Let the faucets drip because moving water is more difficult to freeze than standing water

5.) Keep the thermostat constant and leave the heat on, as constant temperatures (all above 55 degrees) will keep your pipes safe.

6.) Seal cracks and openings in walls, floors, etc. that could create drafts

7.) Open interior doors as most homes have uneven heat distribution

8.) Cover ventilated crawl spaces

9.) Apply heating tape to a pipe to help it retain heat

Callahan pointed out that the main thing that will determine the vulnerability of your home’s water system is the home’s level of insulation.

“Insulating is the number one thing you can do for your home when it comes to energy efficiency and preventing pipes from freezing and bursting,” he said.

And that also includes insulating your pipes.

“If you have a lot of lines exposed or if the lines are close to the exterior of the house under a crawl space, you can get foam insulation that will fit around your pipes,” Callahan said. “I recommend doing this, especially if you tend to have frozen pipes. We also have problems with condensate lines for high efficiency furnaces or drain lines that freeze causing the furnaces to shut down and for that there is heating tape, an electrical tape that runs along your lines. of water to keep it above the freezing point.

Callahan acknowledged that many people don’t like to run their drip faucets to keep pipes from freezing. But he points out that a slightly higher water bill is far better than damage to a house from bursting pipes. That’s why he recommends running more than one faucet, especially the ones farthest from your main water line.

“Sometimes you have to realize that the plumbing is going in the middle of your house and you have a branch going both ways,” he said. “So you can have two furthest points. “

If your pipes are freezing and you can determine they haven’t burst yet, there are dos and don’ts of trying to thaw them.

“You can put radiators, extra heat, in there with all the cabinets open,” he said. “You can use a falling light that shines on the pipes. We do not recommend using hair dryers or heat guns. Heat guns use such a high temperature that it can damage plumbing systems and melt piping. “

There are also things you should do after this cold snap has stopped.

“As we thaw it is very important to go around your house and see if you can hear water running with all the faucets closed to make sure there is no water leaking out. will cause a lot of damage, ”said Callahan. outside. “We already have a lot of calls from homes that are completely frozen and where they cannot use their water and these are the ones we are worried about after they thaw. What will happen with regard to the water damage.

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