Water Trade Service plumbing and water installation in Mooresville, NC area

How To Prepare Your Pipes For The Winter

The U.S. is in the midst of an unprecedented number of frozen-pipe incidents, and it’s becoming a national crisis.

The latest data from the American Society of Civil Engineers showed that approximately 1 in 3 homes in America have a frozen water pipe. The problem has reached such epidemic proportions that it’s affecting everything from insurance rates to home values to economic growth, and as more and more pipes freeze, we see a snowball effect on all of these issues.

What does this mean for you? If your home has been affected by frozen pipes, you should consider taking action immediately.

Wondering how to maintain and prepare your pipes for winter?

Don’t worry. Wicker Trade Service Inc. has prepared this article for you.

In this article, we will tell you some signs that your pipes are frozen, what happens when pipes freeze, and give tips for how to prevent pipes from freezing. 

So get ready to learn…

How to tell if your pipes are frozen?

It’s the time of year when your pipes might freeze, and it’s important to know the signs that indicate your pipes are frozen.

Here are our top six.

No water flow

If you don’t have a steady stream of water coming out of your faucet, this is a sign that something is wrong. Make sure you check all of your faucets, shower heads, and toilets to make sure they’re all working properly. If they aren’t, you may have a frozen pipe in your house.

Strange smells

Did you notice a strange smell coming from one of your faucets? This could be another sign that something is wrong with the plumbing in your house—especially if there wasn’t any odor before this happened!

Frost on exposed pipes

Frost on exposed pipes is a sure sign that your pipes are frozen. When water freezes, it expands, which can cause damage to the pipes. If you have frost on exposed pipes and notice these other symptoms, it’s time to call a professional plumber

Banging or rattling sounds

If you hear banging or rattling sounds coming from your plumbing system, this can be another sign that your pipes are frozen. The banging sound is caused by water trying to escape through the frozen pipe but cannot do so because of how tightly packed the ice crystals have become.

Temperature drop 

If you notice that your home’s temperature has dropped significantly, especially around any plumbing fixtures or appliances, this could be an indication of freezing temperatures or frozen pipes. The sudden drop in temperature may also indicate a leak or other problem in the system.

Strange behavior of appliances 

A sink full of water at room temperature is usually not normal behavior for a faucet, but if it’s happening after a power outage or other event where there was no running water for a long time and then suddenly the faucet starts flowing again… that can indicate a frozen pipe! If something similar happens with your dishwasher or washing machine, it could also indicate a similar problem with Mooresville’s frozen pipes.

At what temperature do pipes freeze?

The temperature at which pipes freeze depends on several factors, including the pipes’ material, the insulation level, and the duration of exposure to cold temperatures. However, as a general guideline, pipes are at risk of freezing when the temperature drops to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius) or below.

It’s important to note that not all pipes freeze at the same temperature. Some pipes, such as those made of copper or PVC, are more resistant to freezing than others. Additionally, pipes in unheated areas or near exterior walls are more susceptible to freezing.

Keep in mind that wind chill can also affect the freezing point. Even if the ambient temperature is above freezing, wind can cause pipes to freeze quickly. Therefore, it’s essential to take precautions and protect your pipes during cold weather, regardless of the exact temperature.

What happens when you have a frozen pipe?

The worst thing that could happen to your pipes is for them to freeze. But what exactly happens when that happens? Here are three things you need to know:

Reduced water flow

When the temperature drops, ice crystals form inside your pipes. These ice crystals reduce the space in your pipes and make it harder for water to flow through them. If this happens, you may notice that the flow of water from your faucet has slowed down or stopped completely. This can be a sign that your pipes have frozen and need to be thawed or replaced right away!

Expansion and potential bursting

When ice freezes inside the pipe, it expands and causes the pipe to expand too. If the expansion is enough that it breaks through the pipe’s insulation, it will cause water damage to your home and possibly burst open in certain areas of your house or apartment building. This can lead to flooding and other problems like mold growth on walls and ceilings!

Damage to pipes and plumbing system

The freezing process causes water to expand, and this sudden expansion can put pressure on your pipes and cause them to burst. If this happens, you’ll see water pouring out of your walls or ceiling or coming up through the floorboards. If you don’t replace the broken pipe quickly, mold growth is likely to begin within 24 hours.

Disruption of water supply

When a pipe bursts due to freezing, you may lose all of your running water—which means no hot showers or flushing toilets for days! And if you have a well or septic tank with a backup system in place, power outages affecting those systems will also disrupt your water supply.

Increased risk of mold and mildew

When water freezes in your pipes, it expands. This can cause cracks in the pipe walls, allowing air inside the pipe and creating an environment ripe for the growth of mold and mildew. Mold can damage your property and cause health problems for people living in your house.

How to thaw frozen pipes?

Frozen pipes are a major problem in the winter. If you’ve got a frozen pipe, here’s how to unfreeze it and avoid any damage.

Shut off the water supply. 

Make sure all the faucets in your home are turned off—including showers, tubs, and toilets—to prevent further damage from water pressure buildup. If you have an automatic sprinkler system or central air conditioning system that uses water pressure to distribute coolant throughout the house, shut it down as well. (Note: If you live in a cold climate and want to keep heat flowing through your pipes while they’re frozen, leave at least one faucet on.)

Find where the pipe is frozen. 

If there’s just a little bit of ice around the pipe, you can use an ordinary hair dryer on low heat (or even a blow dryer) to melt it away. But if there’s more than just a little bit of ice on your pipes, use a propane torch or heat gun instead (you don’t want to use an electric one). 

Apply heat

There are several methods to apply heat and safely thaw the frozen pipe:

  1. Hairdryer: Use a hairdryer set on low or medium heat. Start from the faucet end and work your way toward the frozen section. Move the hairdryer back and forth along the pipe, holding it several inches away to avoid overheating the pipe.
  1. Hot towels: Soak towels in hot water and wrap them around the frozen pipe. Replace the towels with freshly soaked ones as they cool down. Continue this process until the ice thaws.
  1. A heat lamp or portable heater: Place a heat lamp or portable heater near the frozen pipe, maintaining a safe distance to prevent overheating. Direct the heat towards the frozen section.
  1. Warm water: If the frozen pipe is accessible, you can wrap it with warm towels or pour warm water over it. Start from the faucet end and work toward the frozen section. Do not use boiling water, as it can cause damage to the pipe.

Be patient and cautious.

Thawing a pipe can take time, so be patient and allow the heat to melt the ice gradually. Never use an open flame, propane torch, or high-heat source, as this can be dangerous and may damage the pipe.

Check for leaks.

Once the pipe has thawed, check for any leaks or cracks. If you notice any damage, it’s best to call a professional plumber in Mooresville, NC, to assess and repair the pipe.

15 Pipes Maintenance Checklist for Winter

If you’re concerned about your pipes freezing, you’re not alone. It happens to us all—whether it’s a pipe in the wall or one of those cold-water lines under the sink. And when it does, we all rush out to buy space heaters and turn up the heat. But there are some things you can do to learn how to take care of pipes in winter!

Insulate exposed pipes.

Pipes that are exposed to the elements can freeze. If your pipes are exposed, insulating them with foam sleeves or heat tape is important. If you have exposed pipes, check them regularly over the winter months and ensure they’re not frozen.

Seal gaps and cracks. 

Make sure there aren’t any holes or cracks where cold air can get into your house and cause pipes to freeze. Use foam insulation or caulk to seal off any areas where you see gaps or cracks between walls or windowsills.

Disconnect outdoor hoses.

If you have an outdoor hose, disconnect it from its spigot and wrap it up to learn how to prevent frozen pipes. You can also try covering it with a blanket or tarp to keep out moisture, but make sure you remove them when you want to use your hose again!

Insulate outdoor faucets and pipes.

If you don’t have an outdoor hose or don’t want to disconnect yours, try wrapping it in insulation tape—or, even better, duct tape (which is more durable). This will help keep water flowing even during cold weather. For indoor pipes in particularly cold areas of your home (such as bathrooms), wrap them with insulating blankets or other materials that will keep them at a stable temperature.

Keep the heat on.

The easiest way how to keep pipes from freezing is to keep your house warm, which will also help prevent mold and other problems. Make sure you keep any heat vents open so that the air circulates around your pipes, and avoid using humidifiers or dehumidifiers if you can.

Drip faucets.

If you have a dripping faucet, it’s important to know how to fix frozen pipes ASAP! If you leave a drip running for too long, it can cause serious damage to your pipes, including bursting them and leaking water into your walls or ceiling. This will not only cause unnecessary damage but also make it more likely that you’ll have frozen pipes in the future because more water will be in them than normal (which means they’ll freeze faster). So remember: if a faucet is dripping, fix it right away!

Keep cabinet doors open.

This tip is probably one of the most obvious ones on this list, but it’s also one of the most important. When cabinets get cold, they suck heat out of the room—so if you’re keeping your cabinets closed, that means your entire house is getting colder as well. This can be especially bad for your pipes because they’re already working hard to fend off that extra cold air coming into your home. Open up those cupboard doors!

Monitor the thermostat.

If you have a central heating system, you can monitor your thermostat to keep the temperature comfortable for your home and family members. You don’t need to constantly run your furnace or heat pump—only when needed!

Have a contingency plan.

The best way how to take care of frozen pipes is by having a contingency plan. If your pipes freeze and burst, what will you do? How will it affect your life? Do you have an alternative source of water? Is there an emergency plumber in the area? Are there other ways you can get water if the pipes burst? Having these answers in advance will help you prepare for whatever happens during winter.

Inspect regularly.

Inspecting regularly helps ensure that there are no leaks that could cause damage to your home or property. It also means that if something does go wrong with one of your pipes, it won’t be too much of a surprise—you’ll already know about it! You might even find leaks before they cause any major problems at all!

Service your heating system.

If your furnace isn’t working properly, it may not be able to keep the water inside your pipes from freezing. You should schedule regular maintenance with a professional technician to ensure your system works as efficiently as possible.

Maintain proper insulation.

Insulating your pipes can help prevent them from freezing during cold spells. Make sure to wrap any exposed pipes in the thermal wrap and insulate the area around them. This will help keep the heat in and keep the cold out!

Monitor water pressure.

You should also check your home’s water pressure, as low pressure can cause pipes to freeze more easily. You can do this by measuring the water pressure at different times of the day or by checking the pressure gauge on your faucet. If you find that your pressure is unusually low, contact a plumber right away!

Check for leaks in the building envelope.

If you have water pipes running through your home, checking for leaks in the building envelope is important to prevent frozen pipes. If you have a basement or crawl space, look for signs of water damage on the ceiling or walls. You can also check with your neighbors to see if they’ve noticed any dripping or water coming from under their property.

Educate household members.

In order to prevent frozen pipes, educate household members on the importance of not abusing water. Show them how to reduce their water usage during cold weather and explain why it’s important to do so. Also, Make sure everyone knows what to do if they notice that the pipes are frozen (i.e., turn off the water supply) so that you can avoid a major headache later on down the road.

DIY Vs. Professional Pipes Maintenance

There are two ways to maintain your pipes: DIY or professional. Both have their pros and cons, but neither is necessarily better than the other. It’s just a matter of knowing what you’re dealing with and whether it’s worth pursuing a DIY or professional solution.

Here’s a comparison chart outlining the key factors to consider when deciding between DIY pipe maintenance and hiring a professional plumber:

FactorDIY Pipe MaintenanceProfessional Pipes Maintenance
CostCost-effective (saves on labor costs)Associated costs for labor, materials, permits
Expertise and ExperienceLimited knowledge and experienceExtensive knowledge and experience
Complexity of TasksSuitable for routine maintenance tasksCapable of handling complex repairs and upgrades
Safety ConcernsPotential safety risks for inexperienced individualsProfessionals trained to prioritize safety
Time CommitmentRequires personal time and effortSaves time as professionals handle the tasks
Tools and EquipmentBasic tools and equipment may be sufficientAccess to specialized tools and equipment
Long-Term SolutionsLimited ability to provide long-term solutionsRecommendations for preventive measures
Warranty and GuaranteesNo formal warranty or guaranteesOften provide warranties or guarantees
Learning OpportunityOpportunity to learn and gain new skillsRelies on professional expertise
Emergency SituationsMay require immediate professional assistanceProfessionals can handle emergencies
Plumbing System ComplexitySuitable for simple systems or minor repairsHandles complex systems and major repairs
Personal Convenience and FlexibilityCan be performed at your own convenienceRequires scheduling and coordination

Call Professional Plumber to Take Care of Your Plumbing Needs in Winter!

Winter is when you must be extra careful about your plumbing pipes. The frozen ground outside can cause pipes to expand and contract, which can damage them.

It’s time to wrap up all those plumbing issues you’ve been neglecting, so you can enjoy the season without worrying about your pipes.

If you’re in Mooresville, NC, and need help with a plumbing service agreement, Wicker Trade Service Inc can help.

Wicker Trade Service Inc is a professional plumbing company in Mooresville, NC, that has been providing quality service for over 20 years. We know how to take care of your plumbing problems during the cold weather, so you can enjoy everything about winter without worrying about your pipes freezing up.

With our experience and expertise, we are able to provide quality service that will ensure that your pipes are working properly throughout the cold months.

At Wicker Trade Service Inc, we offer a wide range of services to keep your plumbing system running smoothly, including:

– Plumbing repair and maintenance

– Water heater installation and replacement

– Gas line installation and replacement

– Drain cleaning and drain repair

– Water softener installation and replacement

– Garbage Disposal Installation

– Sewer Line Repair and Replacement

– 24*7 Emergency Plumbing Service

– And Many More…

We also understand that plumbing issues aren’t always emergencies—they can be inconvenient, but they’re not life-threatening. That’s why our agreement is designed to give you peace of mind without costing a fortune. We’ll take care of all the details so you don’t have to worry about anything except returning to living your life.

And if something does break down, we’ll be there right away—even on the weekends! Don’t stress about waiting for someone else to fix your pipes; let us handle it for you!
No matter what kind of plumbing problem you have, we’re here to help! Call our qualified, licensed plumbers today at (704) 340-4810 to know more about our Plumbing Maintenance and Agreements in Mooresville!

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