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Freezing Pipes Prevention

The most common plumbing problem in winter is that of freezing water pipes. Exposed pipes running along exterior walls or crawl spaces can freeze up in low temperatures, and without safe thawing can also burst as ice expands beyond the pipe's capacity. Broken water pipes spill out melted ice water, and cause expensive water related damage to the property.

Although insulation is the best prevention against frozen pipes, many homeowners fail to do so in time. Fall is your last chance to weatherize exposed water pipes in your NY home before temperatures plunge significantly. New York Plumber provides the following tips on how to avoid freezing pipes this winter:

1. Disconnect outdoor connections such as garden hoses.
2. Insulate vulnerable water lines with fiberglass, foam rubber sleeves or heat tape. Functioning like an electrical heating blanket, heat tape wraps around pipe and keeps line warm in low temperatures.
3. With thanksgiving and Christmas approaching fast many families will holiday away from home. Before leaving for a long vacation, make sure to close water supply to your home and drain water from fixtures.
4. Inspect your home for any cracks that can leak in cold wind and increase chances of your pipes freezing.

Early detection of frozen pipes will save you from expensive water related damage.
Plumbers instruct homeowners to close water supply to the frozen pipe or entire home and drain out trapped water and steam. Applying direct heat on the frozen section will cause more damage than good as thermal expansion may split open the pipe. The following methods illustrate how to thaw right a freezing pipe:

1. Wrap heat tape around the frozen section.
2. Soak rugs in hot water and cover freezing pipes. Replace cool rugs with fresh, hot ones.
3. Use a blow dryer from faucet to frozen section of the pipe to let out melted water fast and let water pressure force out trapped ice.
4. Direct a space heater on the frozen section.

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  • Staten Island Plumber
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