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How to Prevent Frozen Pipes and What To Do If Your Pipes Freeze

It’s not often that it stays cold long enough for pipes to freeze in the San Antonio area. If your pipes do freeze, however, it can be such a huge inconvenience and potential huge cost, that it’s worth taking extra steps to protect your property to prevent it from happening to you. And if your pipes freeze despite your best preparation? We can tell you what to look for and what to do next.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

#1 Locate and insulate any exposed pipes

You can find affordable pipe insulation at any big box hardware store. It might look or feel similar to a pool noodle. They’ll be split length-wise and have peel-off adhesive to easily wrap around any outdoor pipes. These can easily get worn by the Texas sun, so make sure to inspect them each year and replace if they start deteriorating.

#2 Protect your hose bibs or outdoor faucets

While you should leave your pipes insulated year-round, prior to a freeze hose bibb covers (usually plastic and styrofoam or a sock-like cloth) offer additional protection and can be removed in the warmer months.

#3 Trickle water (less than a steady stream, but more than a drip)

Moving water is harder to freeze than stationary water sitting in your pipes. Think about how water flows through your home from the water meter. During a hard freeze, trickle water from the faucet the farthest away from the meter to get water flowing through your entire system.

#4 Open bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors

If bathroom or kitchen plumbing lies on an exterior wall, opening cabinet doors will allow the heated air in your home to warm the pipes behind your cabinets as well.

How To Tell If Your Pipes Are Frozen

You may be dealing with frozen pipes when water isn’t flowing normally. It could manifest as one faucet that doesn’t work, missing hot water, missing cold water, or no water flow through the whole house. Any of those things can be the sign of a blockage.

If water gets trapped between two blockages (two areas in the pipeline freeze with water trapped between them) the pressure that builds up can lead to a burst pipe. If you see signs of a water leak or water where it should not be, turn off the water to your home to prevent a bigger mess.

When It’s Time to Call a Plumber

In our South Texas climate burst or frozen pipes are rare — the weather usually has to stay below 32 degrees for more than 24 hours. If pipes start freezing, however, it will be a rapid and widespread problem. The wait for a plumber could get lengthy as appointment slots fill. If you suspect a problem, call your plumber as quickly as possible to reduce your wait time. A plumbing professional will know how to locate a trouble spot, thaw your pipes to get water flowing again, and check for leaks to make sure a bigger problem isn’t lurking.  

Worried about frozen pipes or burst pipes? Call North East Air at 210-658-0111 or fill out our form to request an appointment.

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