Don’t Let Frozen Pipes in your Western New York Home Get you Down this Winter
Are Frozen Pipes Impacting you this Winter?
Winters here in Hamburg and Erie County are infamously and brutally frigid. Every year, pipes freeze in thousands of homes here in Western New York. Don’t let frozen pipes in your Western New York home get you down this winter. Understanding why pipes freeze should help you avoid this problem.
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts immense pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to burst.
Pipes that freeze most frequently in Hamburg, New York and Erie County are:
- – Pipes that are outdoors and exposed to harsh cold, like hose aprons, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines
- – Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets
- – Pipes that run against exterior walls that have minimal or no insulation
Protect your Western New York Pipes from Freezing
You can protect your Western New York home’s pipes, prior to the onset of cold weather, by following these recommendations:
- – Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions.
- – Remove, drain, and stow hoses that were used outdoors in the warmer New York months.
- – Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to empty. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to burst.
- – Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- – Check around your Erie County home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- – Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Prevention of frozen pipes is by far the best solution to keep your pipes from breaking in the cold Western New York winter months. Some suggestions for keeping your pipes from freezing are:
- – Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- – Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to flow around the plumbing.
- – When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe, even at a dribble, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- – Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
- – If you will be going away during the cold Hamburg, New York and Erie County weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
You may do all you can to guard your Western New York home from frozen pipes, but sometimes things are just out of our control. If you have frozen pipes, you can try these approaches to thaw them to prevent them from bursting:
- – Keep a slow running or suspected frozen pipe faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- – Apply heat to the section of frozen pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater, or by wrap the pipes with towels soaked in hot water.
- – Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a local Western New York licensed plumber.
- – Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
A frozen pipe is more than just inconvenient. If the pipe bursts under the pressure, it may flood your home, causing widespread water damage. This is no time for a DIY approach. You need a professional plumber and quick.
Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC will make sure that frozen pipes in your Western New York home are not getting you down this winter.