No matter the strength of the pipes it is possible that water being frozen and expanding can cause pipes to break. Even though not every frozen pipe will burst, it is far better to protect pipes so that the probability of dealing with a frozen or burst pipe is even less.
When the temperature drops in Salina, Kansas, and we all turn on our heaters and wear big comfy sweaters to keep warm, we may need to consider how our house pipes are faring in the cold and freezing temperatures.
“BABY, IT”S COLD OUTSIDE” – Signed, the Pipes
In Salina, Kansas, and anywhere that the temperature dips into freezing temperatures it is important to realize that pipes can freeze in as little as six to eight hours, meaning they can freeze overnight. If the outside temperature is below 32 degrees F and your pipes are unprotected, the chances of a pipe freezing increase. Indoor pipes are more protected, typically requiring 20 degrees F or lower for freezing to occur.
It might seem odd to think that water freezing could cause a pipe to burst. But water has a unique property. It expands when frozen and that expansion can cause tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of the pipes in Salina, Kansas, it is possible that water being frozen and expanding can cause pipes to break. Even though not every frozen pipe will burst, it is far better to protect pipes so that the probability of dealing with a frozen or burst pipe is even less. The pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, 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 little or no insulation.
WAYS TO PROTECT PIPES FROM THE COLD
Some of the ways to protect pipes from the cold will vary depending on region and just how cold it gets, but these are good tips for any region including Salina, Kansas, that experiences freezing temperatures.
- Let the cold water drip from the faucet. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if indoor pipes freeze and burst.
- Check around the home for instances 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 installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” on exposed water pipes.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children and pets.
SIGNS THAT THE PIPES MIGHT BE FROZEN
- There is very little water (or no water at all) coming out of faucets.
- There is visible frost on any exposed water pipes.
- Sections of drywall, carpet, or ceilings are damp for no other discernible reason.
- Strange smells are coming out of faucets and drains. If a pipe is completely (or sometimes even partially) blocked, unpleasant odors have nowhere to escape but back up the drain.
If you suspect a pipe may be frozen, shut off the water supply to the house in Salina, Kansas. Then it’s best to try to locate the frozen pipe so that you can thaw it by safely using a heating pad or a space heater. If you cannot find the frozen section of pipe or are unsure about how to proceed, call a plumber as soon as possible.
DO NOT pour boiling water into a frozen pipe to thaw it out. The quick change between hot and cold could actually cause the pipe to burst.
WHAT TO DO IF A FROZEN PIPE BURSTS
- Shut off the water supply, and in some instances the electricity may need to be shut off too.
- Call your homeowner’s insurance company.
- Contact a professional plumber and water restoration company.
- Start to remove water right away, if safely possible to do so.
Water damage from a burst pipe can vary based on what areas of a home are affected. But no matter where water damage has occurred in the home, in order to prevent further damage from water and mold to your home in Salina, Kansas, it is vital that it is taken care of quickly.
If you’ve experienced water damage from a frozen pipe bursting or from another source, FreshCo Cleaning and Restoration is here to help!
“Very helpful. Went beyond my expectations. Would highly recommend them.”
— Christina S. in Wichita, Kansas