Pro Tips for Winterizing Water Pipes
Winters in the Texas Hill Country may not be as unforgiving as it is in some other parts, but they’re also nothing to sneeze at – San Antonio homeowners have seen their fair share of freezing temperatures and icy winter storms. And unfortunately, many have also experienced the nightmare of frozen pipes when temperatures drop.
Frozen water pipes aren’t just an inconvenience – they can also cause serious damage to the home and its plumbing system. So it behooves every homeowner to protect their water pipes as colder weather approaches. This article will outline some of the best ways to prevent frozen pipes and keep the home’s plumbing system running smoothly all winter!
What Are the Dangers of Frozen Pipes?
The first consequence of having pipes freeze is that the home will be without running water – at least in some parts of the house. This can be incredibly inconvenient and frustrating, especially since it can take days for pipes to thaw out during a cold spell.
But an even scarier scenario is if the frozen pipes burst, which is fairly common. Water expands as it turns to ice, and since most water pipes are made of relatively thin copper, this expansion can cause the pipe wall to split or rupture. This can result in a leak or a burst pipe, unleashing a deluge of water into the surrounding area. The ensuing water damage or flooding can be catastrophic, especially if the issue isn’t immediately caught.
Why Pipe Insulation Is the Best Way To Prevent Freezing
Naturally, the trick to preventing frozen pipes is to keep the home’s plumbing system warm (or just warm enough). The best way to do this is to install pipe insulation, particularly on pipe sections in areas most exposed to the elements: crawl spaces, cellars, attics, unfinished basements, garages, etc.
Insulation for pipes is typically inexpensive and easy to install. The most common type is foam tubing, but some are made from fiberglass or other materials. Insulation will help keep the pipe’s heat from being lost to the cold surrounding air. This doesn’t just help prevent freezing, but it will also help hot water retain its heat as it travels from the water heater to the various fixtures throughout the home, which can significantly reduce energy costs!
Other Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes
While pipe insulation is a must, homeowners have a few other tactics at their disposal when preventing frozen pipes. During cold fronts, they can turn on faucets to a slow drip to keep the water moving and relieve water pressure in case of a freeze. They can also keep the home’s heater running to help radiate heat into the pipes – even when out of the house, the indoor temperature shouldn’t drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s also a good idea to have any outdoor plumbing shut off and drained. This includes irrigation systems and hose bibs. A critical part of winterizing the home’s plumbing, this will eliminate the risk of freezing in underground pipes that can’t be insulated. This process isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds, however, so homeowners would do well to contact a professional for plumbing winterization!
About A&A Plumbing
A&A Plumbing has been proudly serving the San Antonio community since 2007. As a family-owned and operated business, they offer competitive up-front pricing, personalized solutions, financing, and a money-saving membership plan. Their trustworthy, licensed, and insured technicians are known for their cleanliness and award-winning customer service, so homeowners know they’re in good hands when they call A&A for plumbing service in San Antonio, TX!