Dealing With Frozen Pipes

Why Does a Plumbing System Freeze?

Plumbing systems freeze from prolonged exposure to freezing temperature without being adequately equipped to resist the temperatures. Certain parts of plumbing systems are more prone than others to freeze. Plumbing that is situated in exterior walls, outside pipes and pipes that are in unheated areas of the home or building are the most vulnerable and should have steps taken to prevent freezing and the corresponding damage that occurs. These problems can become destructive and expensive in a very short time. If pipe bursts occur, water damage can cause very involved repairs that can interrupt businesses or the lives of families.

How Can I Prevent This?

When freezing pipes occur in exterior walls, it usually due to a lack of sufficient insulation in these walls. In some municipalities, the codes have begun to exclude the practice of placing piping in these walls. The existing insulation can slip from its backing or other issues that cause the insulation to shift, become depleted and ineffective. Often, this is only noticed after pipes have frozen in the walls. Because of this, people should incur the cost of replacing the insulation with a proper installation. This is especially true if the plumbing is being repaired from prior freezing.

Outside pipes are obviously at risk. However, there are many products that are produced specifically to shield these pipes from freezing. They are available in a sock type form and also as a taping product. Products that involve taping with special materials are normally necessary in areas that below freezing temperatures occur for extended periods of time. In addition, water hoses should be disconnected from faucet spigots. Frozen hoses keep enough air pressure in the system to burst interior pipes in the home that are not prone to freezing. Disconnecting the hoses will prevent this. Also in areas like these, the water should be cut at the source and the system drained of any water. This will prevent the expansion that bursts pipes in these conditions.

Why Is It Important To Keep This From Happening?

Pipes that are in unheated areas of the home or business can be the most detrimental when frozen. These pipes are located in crawl spaces and attics, and can cause severe damage before the problem is noted. In addition, these pipes should be drained and protected significantly from this occurrence. Usually basements are warmer than these places, and the occurrence of freezing in basement pipes is rare. However, diligence and preparation are the best prophylactics against freezing pipes and the expense of the damage.

Is the cold Ruston winter making you think about the security of your plumbing system? Call Mark Johnson Plumbing today at (318) 257-6167 for top quality frozen pipe services.