Winter is upon us here in Peoria, Illinois. With the beauty of the season comes frigid cold temperatures that can wreak havoc on your plumbing system if you are not properly prepared. Cold temperatures can cause the water in your pipes to freeze, allowing the water to expand and create excess pressure inside the pipes.
If the condition is not addressed promptly it could cause your pipes to burst, creating a host of issues for not only your plumbing system, but your walls, floors and other surfaces that might be the beneficiaries of the water run-off. The best way to keep your pipes from freezing is to prepare ahead of time.
Here are 6 tips to avoid a costly catastrophe.
1.) Shut off outside water supply pipes – Frozen water can start from an exterior hose bib and work its way inside the home. Be sure to turn the water supply to these areas off before cold weather hits.
2.) Insulate exterior pipes and exposed areas – Pipes that run along the exterior walls of your home are the most susceptible to freeze.  Additionally, pipes that are exposed to the elements are also at risk. Use foam pipe insulation to wrap these trouble spots to keep the heat in and the cold out.
3.) Install heated cables – These innovate cable or tape designs can be wrapped around pipes that are at the most risk of freezing to prevent ice from forming.
4.) Open cabinets – Give pipes located inside cabinets a blast of warm air by opening the door. If it is extremely cold, consider running a ceramic space heater (without heating coils) near the cabinet to raise the air temperature.
5.) Keep a drip going – Turn your faucet on low so that it creates a slow drip. Keep it on throughout the duration of an extreme cold snap. Like the water in a river, the consistent flow of liquid through the pipes should keep the water from freezing.
6.) Remodel – If freezing pipes are a regular issue in your home, you might want to consider re-routing your plumbing to areas that are less likely to freeze. While this can be costly endeavor, it could save you from an even more costly plumbing emergency down the road.
If you have questions about winter plumbing issues, contact the experts at Kelley Construction to discuss your options.