A common problem that many homeowners face these days is finding that their plumbing leaks on account of freezing in the winter. This can be explained by the fact that when water freezes, there is a point at which it starts expanding rather than contracting. At this point it occupies more space than it needed before.
As you can imagine, a pipe is an enclosed space, which is usually incapable of expanding too much. When the water within it expands past the limits of the pipe, it will definitely burst. When this happens in many parts of your home’s plumbing, you will end up with a scenario where you have a large number of leaks all over the home. This will not only lead to damage to the rest of the home, but also has the potential to result in very expensive repairs.
You should therefore be on the lookout for ways of preventing this from happening. This is particularly important if you have just moved into a new home, and are not sure whether it has been protected from the effects of winter or not. Of course, before buying a new home, you should check it thoroughly to ensure that such details are taken care of. However, in case you find that such measures have not been put in place, some of the things you can try out to protect the plumbing from the effects of winter include:
Coating it using fiberglass
One of the simplest measures you can take is coating the plumbing using some fiberglass. This is easy to find in most department stores. To reduce the cost of the process, you can make a policy of only insulating the pipes that are out of the way, such as those in crawl spaces. These are usually not exposed to the heat within the home, and are therefore more likely to expand once the water in them expands.
If you intend to use fiberglass, you should note that it’s a product that is dangerous for use, particularly when it comes to inhaling it. For this reason, you should invest in protective clothing such as a mask before using it. Alternatively, you should get a professional plumber to handle the job for you. This not only ensures that it’s done perfectly, but also reduces the risk of harm that you will be exposed to.
Getting a heat trace cable
Heat trace cables are items that are made out of a metal that has very high heat conductivity. They will spread the heat from a part of the house that has a lot of heat to one that does not. By running them along the length of the pipes in the home, you can ensure that any excess heat is distributed to the pipes in the crawlspace.
Most heat trace cables are easy to install, so you could try doing it on your own. However, if you have a lot of plumbing to deal with or simply need to get it over with quickly and thoroughly, you should also consider getting the help of a plumber. It will cost slightly more than a DIY job, but will turn out to be more effective in the end.
Using a space heater
If there is a part of the house where most of the plumbing cables are located ,you can heat this area up using a space heater. An ordinary room heater set to a low temperature normally does the job well. The key is to ensure that the environment is kept toasty enough to prevent the water from completely freezing.
Open the cabinet doors
In most homes, the plumbing will run behind the cabinets. If the wall is not properly insulated, these pipes could end up freezing, leading to some of the problems mentioned above. Opening the cabinets exposes them to some of the heat within the house, and this in turn reduces the risk of freezing. You can try out this method if you know where the pipes run through in the walls, and if you are sure that the wall is not insulated.
These are just some of the temporary fixes you can try out to reduce the chances of such freezing. It’s important to note that most of them are only there to stem the problem in the meantime. Once the winter is over, you should consider getting more permanent measures put in place to reduce such freezing.
This often means consulting a high quality plumber in Scottsdale to come over and assess the plumbing for you before making suggestions on what needs to be done to protect the plumbing. Getting this done once and for all will be cheaper, and will reduce the chances of ever having to deal with plumbing issues of this nature in the future. It’s also more convenient!