Preventing Frozen Pipes
The deep colds of winter can often prove very hard on your home’s water pipes. Being properly prepared and having solid information can help you avoid issues with frozen pipes, issues that can be costly, and cause severe damages to your home and plumbing system.
At Alberta Water Services, we’re not just water hauling experts. Water is our business, and we know how to help you prepare your Calgary home water systems for the winter.
Why are frozen pipes a serious issue?
When water freezes it expands. This results in tremendous pressure being placed on the pipes or hoses containing that water. It is, in fact, enough pressure to break them. This can result in flooding and further damage to the pipes. Swimming pool lines and outdoor hoses, which are often directly exposed to the cold, are most at risk, along with any pipes that travel along an outside wall without proper insulation. Areas you don’t regularly heat, like attics, garages and basements, are also often where exposed pipes will freeze and burst.
How do I prevent frozen pipes?
There are several preventive measures you can take before the cold sets in to help avoid issues.
- Drain and store outdoor hoses. Close inside bibs that supply those hoses, and leave outside bibs open after draining.
- Drain the water from your pool and the various lines in the system.
- Inspect your house for unheated and improperly insulated areas where water pipes run. Make sure both hot and cold water pipes have sufficient insulation along their length.
- You can use newspaper or specialty products, such as heat tape or pipe sleeves, to help further protect exposed pipes.
- Leave your faucets open a little, allowing them to drip. This will prevent freezing in the pipes.
- Make sure your thermostats are never set too low, even at night or when you’re away from home. Keep them set to at least 12 degrees or more. This may lead to a slightly higher heating bill, but will prevent far costlier repairs due to burst pipes.
- If you suspect you have frozen pipes, run water to help them thaw. If needed apply heat from a hairdryer, portable space heater, or an electrical heating pad to exposed sections of the pipe to melt the ice forming inside. Do not use blowtorches, propane devices or any kind of open flame!
We can help
Should you experience a shortage of water due to freezing or damaged pipes, Alberta Water Services can help by hauling water to you, even in remote areas, and even in extreme weather. Whether you’re looking to refurbish your water supply, or get some expert help for your pipe repair, give us a call at our Calgary location or visit our website!