At Duncan Plumbing Solutions in Waxahachie, Texas we’ve been taking a lot of calls regarding broken water lines or leaks in the yard. Mike’s theory is that there are subtle shifts when the temperatures are extremely hot or extremely cold which can put pressure on pipes. Add to that freezing water inside the pipes and you have a broken water line. We see a high influx of these types of calls when the weather turns cold and since we’ve just started to see a few straight nights of freezing temperatures, it stands to reason the calls for broken water lines are coming in.
Causes of burst water pipes
There are a number of reasons water pipes burst in addition to freezing water in pipes during cold periods which include:
- Old age of pipes
- Wear and tear of pipes
You can prevent structural damage to your home or rental property and cosmetic damage to your home and possibly neighboring homes with a few precautions.
Here are a few easy things you can do to protect your home from frozen and broken water pipes:
1. Drain and disconnect all garden hoses and other outside hose connections. If possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
2. Insulate all exposed pipes, under your home, on outside walls or in attics. For pipes with northern exposures, use heat tape according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees even when your home is vacant or unoccupied during the winter. If you plan to be away during cold-weather months, have someone regularly check your home to make sure it’s staying warm enough to prevent freezing. Drain the cold water systems if the home is going to be vacant.
4. Winterize sprinkler systems according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Blowing out excess water with a compressor may be the best way to prevent frozen and broken pipes. If you have a swamp cooler, winterize it by disconnecting the water source and clearing the line.
5. Very important is knowing how to shut off the water supply if a pipe bursts. Quick action can minimize damage.
Taking these few precautions before the next freeze sets in may save your home from the devastating effects of frozen and broken water pipes. The next article in our series will explain what to do in case your pipes burst.
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