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One Winter Plumbing Problem You Definitely Want to Avoid

kitchen-sink-towel-on-faucetOur temperatures here in Salt Lake City get extremely cold in fall and winter. Although we’re still early in the fall season, temperatures are starting to cool off quickly. You can never be too prepared when it comes to your plumbing system, and one problem you definitely want to avoid this season is frozen pipes due to the cold weather. These are problems homeowners in the area are all too familiar with. If you need Salt Lake City, UT plumbing for either of these problems, our team at Rentmeister Total Home Service can help.

How to Protect Your Pipes

Frozen pipes are such a big problem they easily lead to pipe bursts. Water expands as it freezes. If you’ve ever put a plastic water bottle in the freezer on a hot summer’s day and noticed it was bulging and a little bent out of shape when you took it out later, you’ve seen this expansion in action. You don’t want this to happen in your pipes because it adds extreme pressure no matter the material of your pipe. Eventually, this pressure will cause tears resulting in leaks or bursts. Luckily, there are several simple measures you can take to prevent this from happening.

  • Drain Now: Drain all your outdoor pipes in the fall before temperatures get too chilly. When you do this now you’re preventing any possibility of water freezing in the pipes later.
  • Insulate Your Pipes: Some water pipes are in places that are more vulnerable than others. Vulnerable water pipes are in places like exterior walls, basements, crawl spaces, and garages. These locations make them more susceptible to freezing because they don’t receive much direct heat from your HVAC system. You should insulate your pipes in these places with sleeve-style pipe insulation. These sleeves help maintain water temperatures and keep them above freezing.
    • If this isn’t feasible, you can opt to run a tiny bit of water during the coldest parts of the season. Although this option isn’t as energy efficient, allowing water to flow through the pipes keeps the faucets open and less likely to freeze.
  • Turn on Your Heater and Open Doors: When temperatures really start to dip low it’s important to bring your heater into play. You need to ensure your pipes are receiving the warm air the rest of your home receives. This is much harder than you think considering the placement of your home’s plumbing. Be careful not to close off any indoor pipes from heat—leave cabinet doors in your kitchen and underneath your bathroom vanity ajar. These areas are much colder when these doors are shut.
    • Also, make sure that you don’t turn off your heat on days that drop below freezing temperatures. Shutting off your HVAC system puts your pipes at risk of freezing.
  • Know Your Plumbing System: Although all the previous steps are things you can do on your own, this step is an area where you need the expertise of a professional. You might know the basics, but you’ll always need the assistance of a trained professional to take a deep dive into the system. Your plumbing system is complicated. You should have it serviced every year so that you’re on top of small problems before they spiral into larger issues.

When you need a great plumber in Salt Lake City, contact Rentmeister Total Home Service. We’ll prepare your home for the cold temperatures.

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