Burr… It’s cold out there!  Did you wake up this beautiful Saturday morning and head downstairs to make some coffee only to find that there was no water coming out of your kitchen faucet? Frozen pipes are something a lot of Michigan homeowners are waking up to on this sunshiny, negative 3-degree day.  The crew at Horton Plumbing can help thaw your frozen pipes today while offering ideas on preventing pipes from freezing in the first place. A FROZEN PIPE

Everyone knows that maintenance is the key to making things last.  Regular home maintenance is crucial here in Michigan.  Seasonal changes constantly bring on new challenges.  Winter is no exception.  The tiniest crack in your piping can cause hundreds of gallons of water to spew out and cause flooding.  By taking the preventive measures below homeowners greatly reduce the risk of frozen water pipes.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Drops in temperature, poor insulation, and a thermostat set too low are the three main causes of frozen pipes.  The following tips can help:

Insulate Pipes: Pipes found in crawl spaces, attics, and outside walls are the most susceptible to changes in temperature. Insulating these exposed pipes is one way to help prevent freezing.  Local hardware stores often sell insulated pipe covers that easily slip over the pipes and seal together with adhesive that is already applied to the pipe cover.  Insulation can also be installed around the pipes for an extra layer of prevention.

Heat Tape: The use of heat tape is another option to prevent frozen pipes. It is important when choosing a product to look for an indoor/outdoor option that has been independently tested.

Seal Leaks: Even the smallest draft can lead to frozen pipes.  It is important to seal leaks that allow cold air inside.  Air leaks are often found around dryer vents, electrical outlets, and piping.  These should all be caulked to prevent air from entering.

Winterize: Outdoor faucets, valves, and hoses should all be winterized well before the first freeze hits. Take the time to shut down outside water fixtures and blow the water out of the lines to reduce the chance of freezing.  Insulated covers can be used to ensure your spigot is tucked in for the winter cold that.

Thermostat Adjustments: In the extreme cold it is best to keep the thermostat in your home consistent day and night. Not only does this reduce the strain on your furnace it prevents the contraction and expansion of pipes that can be caused by fluctuating temperatures.

Warm Water Drip: On nights that it is predicted temperatures will fall well below freezing it is okay to let warm water slowly trickle from faucets in the home. This is especially important when dealing with plumbing that is installed on an exterior wall.

Open Cabinets: Simply opening cabinet doors allows heat from the home to warm pipes which is especially important to piping found on exterior walls.

Pipes do not always burst when they are frozen.  It is important however that when thawing a frozen pipe caution is used to prevent bigger issues from becoming a problem.  First things first, call the plumbing experts at Horton Plumbing.  Then we suggest you leave the faucets open and wait. Never try to thaw a frozen pipe using an open flame source.  Not only is it a fire hazard but thawing frozen pipes too quickly can quickly lead to bigger issues.