Winter temperatures often cause extreme damages and expenses to homes that are located in the affected areas. One of these adverse effects includes frozen burst pipes. All pipes whether inside or outside a home are at risk of freezing and eventually breaking. Insulating these exposed pipes using fiberglass or even foam sleeves often helps to prevent bursting. However, pipes that have not been insulated can always freeze and break hence taking the necessary precautions to prevent pipes from freezing usually contributes to cut down the expenses that come with them bursting.
HOW BURSTING OCCURS
Bursting occurs due to pressure building up in the pipes. Once water freezes, its molecules form crystals in an open hexagonal form. These glasses take up a lot of space more than when water molecules are in liquid form. The particles expand as water freezes. The ice expands pushing water towards the closed faucet.
This expansion causes a massive amount of water pressure to eventually build up between the blockage of ice and the faucet.
This causes the pipe to rupture at a spot with little or no ice.
HOW TO PREVENT FREEZING Faucet - This is a device which allows one to turn the flow of water either on or off.
1 .Disconnect the hose from the faucet outside. When the hose is left connected to the faucet, water is unable to drain out of the hose bib hence a likelihood of freezing and breaking your device.
2. Install heat tape. This tape warms pipes as needed during cold weather hence preventing freezing.
3. Seal all leaks that allow cold air into the home to the location of water pipes. Find out leaks of air around electrical wiring, pipes and dryer vents. To keep cold air out use insulation or caulk.
4. Make sure temperatures do not drop below 32 degrees in any area of your home that has water lines.
5. Keep one or two faucets open. Ensure that there are faucets (usually those in the kitchen) open at night. This allows warm air to circulate.
6. Maintain clean sinks and drained tubs. Cleaning your sinks and draining your tubs on a regular basis avoids hair or dirt from causing clogging which prevents water from properly draining. This also prevents freezing.
7. Leave some faucets with a trickle. Leave some tips slightly running preferably those in the kitchen. Running water will prevent freezing of pipes.
8. Tightly seal your basement. Sealing the basement tightly keeps out cold air.
9. Do not use anti-freeze products on pipes. Anti-freeze products are often ineffective. They are also harmful to the environment and can affect your family's health.
HOW TO KNOW IF A PIPE IS FROZEN
♦ Incase the pipes visible you are likely to observe that it's coated in frost.
♦ If your faucets stops flowing.
♦ If your toilet does not refill upon flushing
HOW TO THAW FROZEN PIPES
1. Keep faucet open.During the treating of the frozen pipe, the frozen area will begin to melt, and water will commence flowing again. Running water in the pipe helps melt the ice.
2. Then, subject the frozen section of the pipe to heat. Use an electric hair dryer, portable space heater, electric heating pad or wrap the pipe with a towel soaked in hot water.
3. Continue the process until the pressure of water is fully restored.
Frozen Burst pipes can be an economical experience. They can also make a mess in your home. Thus it's advisable to apply the preventive measures which will enable you and your family to go through the winter period quickly. If you are not able to access the frozen pipe or identify it, call a licensed plumber