No matter where you live, few homes in the United States are immune to the threat of frozen pipes. All it takes is one strong cold front to bring in extreme cold that can potentially unleash destruction in your home. So how do you protect pipes from freezing?

Although it’s one of the most common causes of property damage, there are easy steps you can take to protect pipes from freezing. As the leading provider of the best plumbing services in Medina, OH, and the surrounding areas, we’ve helped thousands of people take steps to protect the pipes in and around their homes. But why is pipe freezing such a common occurrence?

Why Is Pipe Freezing a Problem?

Water has unique properties that cause it to expand when it freezes. This expansion produces significant pressure on whatever is containing it, including plastic or metal pipes. No matter how durable your lines are, the force of expanding water can cause a burst pipe. 

Pipes most vulnerable to freezing include those exposed to severe weather, including water sprinkler lines, hose bibs, and swimming pool supply lines. Inside your home, pipes in unheated areas, such as basements, garages, crawl spaces, attics, and kitchen cabinet doors, are especially vulnerable to cold air.

Additionally, pipes that run along exterior walls with little or no insulation are particularly susceptible to freezing. So with all these pipes in and around your home susceptible to freezing, how can we protect pipes from freezing?

How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

In order to protect pipes from freezing, it’s best to take action before the freezing weather arrives in your area. Here are steps you can take to protect your pipes from freezing in cold weather:

  • Add insulation to basements, attics, and crawl spaces to maintain a higher temperature in these areas.
  • Remove, drain, and store any hoses that you use outdoors. Close indoor valves that supply water to outdoor hose bibs. Keep the outside valve open, so any remaining water in the pipe can expand without causing it to break.
  • Following the installer’s or manufacturer’s instructions, drain water from your sprinkler and swimming pool supply lines. 
  • Check other areas around your home where water supply lines are in unheated areas. Inspect your garage area and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. You should provide insulation for hot and cold water pipes in these areas.
  • Consider installing specific products created to insulate pipes, such as a “pipe sleeve,” “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed pipes. 

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

In addition to some maintenance you can perform to prevent frozen pipes, you can do other smaller things around your home. 

  • In cold weather, allow cold water to drip from the faucet supplied by exposed pipes. Running water through these pipes, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing. 
  • Open the cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom to let warmer air circulate the plumbing. If you store any harmful cleaners and household chemicals in the cabinets, move them to a higher place while the cabinet doors are open.
  • If water supply lines are in the garage, keep your garage door closed to limit cold air entering from outside.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and a trickle of water comes out, there’s a good chance that you have frozen pipes. Here are a few steps for thawing frozen pipes:

  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will start to flow through it. Running water through the pipe will quicken the rate at which the ice melts. 
  • Apply heat to the exposed section of the pipe by wrapping an electric heating pad around it, blowing warm air on it with a hair dryer, or soaking towels in hot water and wrapping them around the pipes. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or any other open flame device.
  • Continue applying heat until full water pressure returns. Contact a licensed plumber if you cannot locate the frozen area or if it’s inaccessible. 

Contact Dan’s Drain Services for Repiping Services Today!

Our tips will help protect your pipes from freezing and keep your home’s water supply in good working order during cold weather. However, if your pipes have suffered damage from cold weather, we offer repiping services in Medina County, OH, that can restore your pipes. Contact us today to book an appointment!

Chat with Guardian Plumbers

  • Live Representatives will respond.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We proudly serve the Medina, OH area and the surrounding counties including:

  • Akron County​

  • Cuyahoga County​

  • Fairlawn County​

  • Medina County​

  • Summit County​

  • Montgomery County​