When temperatures plummet in the Charlotte area, not only are your face, hands and feet freezing, but your pipes are also in jeopardy of freezing and possibly bursting. And if your pipes burst, that means a costly mess to your home.
Our plumbing experts at Charlotte Mechanical explain that the reason pipes burst is because of the pressure that’s caused when water freezes. The pressure can actually exceed 2,000 pounds per square inch, so even the toughest metal pipes don’t stand a chance.
The pipes that are most at risk of freezing are exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home like the basement, garage or attic.
Charlotte Mechanical’s highly-trained plumbing experts can help you repair your plumbing system when it freezes, but we want to make sure you know the proper steps to prevent your pipes from freezing so you don’t encounter a flooded home.
What To Do To Prevent Freezing Pipes
When the Charlotte weather forecast says that temperatures will drop to about 20 degrees or below, then you should take these steps to ensure your pipes won’t freeze:
- Leave the water dripping in the faucets – Running water through your pipes, even if it’s just a drip, will help prevent pressure from building inside the pipes. Also, the flow of water will make freezing much less likely.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets – This helps to let warm air flow around the pipes and keep the water inside them from freezing.
- Apply Heat Tape – You can find heat tape at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Ace Hardware. The heat tape or heat cables can automatically put out heat when the temperatures of your pipes drop below a certain degree.
- Keep The Thermostat Up – During the winter months, you may turn down your heat when you head to bed, but the best thing to do is keep the temperature in your home at the same level since temperatures drop overnight.
How To Thaw Out Your Pipes
If your pipes do freeze and don’t burst (phew… thank goodness) then there are several steps you can take to unfreeze them:
- Call Charlotte Mechanical – We think it’s important that you let a professional handle any frozen pipe woes you may have because there could still be a risk of a fire or a burst pipe if you don’t thaw it properly. There could also be some frozen pipes that you are just not able to reach or locate, and we can be there to help you. Our plumbing experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with any problems you may encounter with your pipes when the temperatures drop. We can handle any maintenance or repairs that you may need, too.
- Turn on the faucet – At first, you will only have a trickle of water, but as you heat the pipes, you will want your faucet to be on so that the water can help melt the ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of the pipe – You can use a hair dryer or wrap hot towels around the pipe. You should start the thawing process near the faucet and then work your way back so that water can start to flow through.
Another important task to do if you’re worried about frozen pipes is to learn where the water shutoff valve is located. In case your pipes do burst, you want to be able to find your water shutoff valve immediately so you can limit the damage to your home.
Our Charlotte Mechanical team has been handling plumbing repairs for 20 years. We have seen a wide range of issues and our experts will help solve them for you. If you need plumbing maintenance, repair or installation work done, book an appointment with us. Our plumbing experts are available 24/7 and you will never have to pay extra for nights, holidays and weekends.