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How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing | Stephens Plumbing

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Stephen Plumbing

December 6, 2023

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How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Southern California might not have extreme winter weather like some states, but overnight temperatures can dip below freezing. And that’s when you can run into problems with frozen pipes. Here are some tips for preventing pipes from freezing.

Don’t Adjust Your Thermostat

Maintaining a constant temperature in your home day and night will help keep your pipes warm. Your furnace also won’t have to do as much work trying to keep up with the cold. Once the cold snap is over, you can go back to adjusting the thermostat.

Open Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Opening them up will let the heat from your home warm up the pipes. Your kitchen and bathroom pipes are especially prone to freezing if they’re running along an exterior wall.

Remember when you open the cabinets that if you have young children in your home who might get into things, remove any cleaners or chemicals you’ve stored there.

Turn On Your Taps

All it takes is a trickle of water to keep pipes from freezing - the constant flow does the trick. If your faucets are connected to exposed pipes, turn them on to a slow drip.

Seal Cracks and Insulate Against Drafts

Find out where cold air is coming in and do some sealing or caulking. Check windows, doors, and where pipes run from inside to outside.

And insulate areas of your home that aren’t heated, such as a basement or attic. You can do it yourself if you’re handy or hire a professional.

Drain Outdoor Faucets & Cover Them

Drain the water from your outdoor faucets and cover them to keep the cold at bay. You can buy faucet covers at any hardware store or wrap some old rags or t-shirts around them.

Cover Exposed Pipes

Check for exposed pipes in your basement, attic, or along exterior walls. You can use foam or fiberglass insulation from the hardware store to shield them from the cold or wrap them in newspaper.

Close Your Garage Door

This is especially important if you have water supply lines in the garage that aren’t insulated. Keeping your garage door closed will also keep the inside of your home warm.

What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

If you can locate the frozen section of the pipe, there are a few methods you can use to thaw it out:

  • Turn on the faucet and see if running the water will melt any plugged ice. Even cold water will work.
  • Heat the section of the pipe that’s frozen. You can use a hair dryer, electric space heater, or wrap the pipe with an electric heating pad or towels soaked in hot water. Do NOT use any of the following (the high heat can damage the pipe or start a fire): kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, blowtorch, or anything with an open flame.

If you’re having trouble pinpointing where the freeze has occurred or can’t get to it, contact us here at Stephens Plumbing, and we’ll help you.

What to Do If a Pipe Bursts

If you’re dealing with a burst pipe (the worst-case scenario), turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, typically at the meter or where the main line enters your home. Then call us here at Stephens Plumbing. We’re available 24/7 to help you in an emergency like this. You can reach us anytime day or night at:

Make Us Your Go-To Plumber

Stephens is here to help, whether it’s frozen pipes you’re concerned about or any other plumbing issues you’re having in your home or business. Give us a call or schedule an appointment today.

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