Frozen Pipe Repair in Greenville, SC
Handling All Your Commercial And Residential Needs This Winter
Often times in the winter we get called out to commercial businesses and residential homes due to a pipe freeze. While we do live in a southern climate, our water pipes are that much more susceptible to freezing for a couple of reasons. First, the pipes are more likely located in unprotected areas outside of the insulation, and second, we often forget about the dangers of exterior plumbing and leave our garden hoses attached to their spigots.
What Causes Frozen Pipes?
Extremely cold weather conditions are the main reason pipes freeze, and you'll most often see this issue arise in unheated areas like a basement or crawl space, attic, garage, or kitchen cabinets. Exterior pipes like garden hoses, swimming pool supply lines, or water sprinkler lines often experience the wrath of vicious weather as well, as they're constantly exposed to extremely cold temperatures if not stowed away. When water freezes in a pipe, the pipe itself expands and can exert enough pressure to cause more than 250 gallons of water to burst out. Make sure this doesn't happen to you and take precaution.
How Do I Prevent A Frozen Pipe?
- Disconnect, drain, and store all garden hoses and sprinklers, and install covers on all outside faucets; even though these are outside, they're still liable to lead to the damage of an interior pipe.
- Keep your house temperature at least 65 degrees or higher, even if you're leaving the house for the weekend. We have seen some people go lower, and while they have seen no damage when setting their thermostats to 60, we recommend playing on the safe side.
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate towards the pipe.
- Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. Poorly insulated homes, such as older ones, are the reason pipes burst. Insulating these walls and crawl spaces can prevent freezing.
- Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
- If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.
We have seen some pretty bizarre weather in South Carolina before. If we are undergoing severe weather conditions for more than a couple of days, here's how to monitor your plumbing on a daily basis:
- Allow a faucet to drip water for a period of time. Water dripping from the faucet reduces the amount of pressure in the pipe, so even if it does freeze, the pipe won't burst.
- Check every faucet's water flow and pressure before bedtime and after you wake up.
- Check pipes around your water meter, in those unheated areas mentioned above, near exterior walls, and in crawl spaces.
- Identify cold air drafts coming in near pipes, such as any cold draft that may reach your garage if you have pipes located there.
What To Do If A Pipe Freezes?
- Heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around the pipes, starting nearest to the faucet.
- Make sure the faucet is turned on when you're trying to thaw it out so the melted water can drip out.
We see frozen pipes arise too often in the Upstate each year for us to let you do the job yourself. If you live in an older home, call us today at Ken's so we can make sure your piping structure is up to par, as we've seen many families struck with a hefty and unexpected bill due to poorly insulted exterior walls. If you live in a newer home, it's still a good idea to make sure things are running smoothly with your plumbing before the extremely cold weather hits us in January and February. At Ken's, we work even when you don't: 24/7/364—every day but Christmas.