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Preventing Frozen Pipes

Preventing Frozen Pipes

One of the major menaces to your home’s plumbing during the winter is frozen pipes. When water freezes in a pipe, it does more than just clog up the flow. It can cause the pipe to crack and break. The reason this occurs is because water changes when it becomes ice. As the motion of the molecules in H20 slows down, the molecules move farther away from each other. Because of this, ice takes up more volume than its liquid form. If you’ve ever accidentally left a glass of water in the freezer overnight, you’ll have seen how this works: the expansion of the ice cracks the glass.

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No matter what your pipes are made from, they can break because of freezing. It’s important to take steps to prevent this from occurring during the coming winter. Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. has some tips to help your Havertown, PA plumbing get through the cold months without damage.

The best step to take to prevent frozen pipes is to have them insulated so they lose less heat. You might hear advice about doing this yourself with newspapers, but this is not a smart solution. Professional insulation, such as pipe sleeves and UL-listed heat tape, are superior. Because many of the pipes in your home are difficult to access, you should rely on a trained plumber to handle  the insulation installation.

Relocating pipes that are more exposed to cold temperatures is often one of the best preventive moves. An experienced plumber can identify plumbing that might benefit from getting moved and will perform the work for you.

To help stop pipes under sinks from freezing, open up the cabinet doors occasionally to let the warmer air from the house circulate around them. Make sure you keep the garage doors closed if you have plumbing inside there—as many homes do.

If you have to leave your house for an extended time during the winter, don’t turn your home heating completely off; leave it at least above 55°F to prevent the cold from affecting the pipes. Also, make sure to run each of the faucets in your house for a few minutes each week to prevent stagnant water from freezing.

Should your pipes freeze, get professional help to deal with any breaks that may occur. But to prevent this from happening in the first place, have experts insulate your pipes. Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. has taken care of plumbing in Havertown, PA for over 36 years, and we know how to keep your pipes warm this winter.