When temperatures drop, water pipes become vulnerable to freezing and burst, leading to extensive property damage. If left unchecked, this issue could have devastating results for your household.
However, there are steps you can take to prevent this from occurring in the first place. Doing so will ensure that you never need to deal with a pipe burst again in the future.
Check Your Water Pressure
It is essential to regularly monitor your water pressure in order to avoid having a pipe burst. This type of plumbing issue can cause extensive damage to both your home and personal belongings if not addressed promptly.
Test your water pressure using a gauge. These can be purchased at any home hardware store or online and will tell you how much force is flowing through your pipes and the maximum pressure that should be used in your household.
Typically, homes should be receiving between 10 and 15 litres of water per minute. Anything higher is considered inadequate and could negatively impact the flow of water through your plumbing system.
Testing your water pressure can be done several ways, such as setting a timer to measure how long it takes for one gallon bucket of water to fill up. You could also run some faucets or showers in different rooms to see if you’re getting sufficient pressure.
If you’re uncertain whether your water comes from a private well or the city, get a free meter reading to check the pressure on your home’s main line. If it reads low, call the municipality and notify them that there is an issue with pressure.
Low water pressure can often be caused by clogs in your plumbing. When the blockage is large enough, water cannot pass through it and builds up pressure inside the pipe – although this issue may not seem urgent at first glance, if left unresolved it could lead to burst pipes.
Another potential cause is pressure regulator valve failure. These valves, which are preset for a certain water pressure, may become inoperable over time due to excessive use.
It’s possible for a pressure regulator to malfunction without any warning signs, but if you notice an abrupt decrease in your water pressure, this could be indicative of an issue with the valve.
Testing your water pressure without a gauge is possible, but should only be done when there are no clogs or leakages in the system. A low flow rate typically indicates an issue with a blocked system, so it’s essential to address these concerns as quickly as possible to avoid another blockage from occurring.
Seal Any Cracks
A burst pipe can cause significant water damage to your home. The moisture it generates can rot carpets, drywall, floors, furniture and other belongings while leading to mold and mildew growth – which poses serious health risks for you and your family members.
To prevent pipe bursts, it is important to seal off all cracks and holes in your pipes. These areas can often be found around doors, windows, corners and the weep screed near the bottom of your home.
Sealing cracks reduces air leakage, which can cause drafts and cold spots. It also improves indoor comfort by allowing natural ventilation to bring in fresh, clean air.
Some professional plumbers will inject grout or epoxy into cracks to create a more reliable seal. This type of material is much harder than caulk, which can break down over time and allow the crack to reopen.
Another solution for sealing cracks is using a high-viscosity polyurethane polymer. These can be injected into small hairline cracks or applied to larger holes for a more durable seal.
You can also apply sealing pipe wrap to a cracked section of your pipe for extra protection. If the pressure in your pipes is 15 psi or lower, this is an effective and temporary fix until a plumber comes and assess the situation.
Other than freezing temperatures, other factors can also lead to pipes bursting. Clogged sewage, high water pressure and significant soil movement all increase the chance of a pipe rupture.
If you can’t shut off the water supply, a simple way to temporarily stop a pipe leak is using a pipe clamp. These are available from hardware stores or plumbing supply companies and easy to use.
For a longer-lasting solution, add foam insulation to your pipes to keep them from freezing. This can help avoid pipes from bursting and save you money in the long run.
Insulate Your Pipes
If your area experiences cold temperatures for extended periods in wintertime, insulation of your water pipes is a wise idea. Doing so can prevent them from freezing and bursting, potentially leading to costly repairs as well as water damage in your home.
Insulating your pipes can be a straightforward and inexpensive task that will ultimately save you money in the long run. But it’s essential to select the appropriate insulation for your requirements.
What type of pipe insulation you should use depends on the water pipes in your home and its number of bends and joints. Rigid insulated tubes are best for hot water pipes, while wrap-around insulation works better on cold water pipes with complex bends.
Foam pipe insulation is another popular type of insulation. It comes in eight-foot long tubes that have been split lengthwise to fit over pipes. Plus, these insulation tubes have adhesive on the split for easy installation onto your pipes.
Insulation for pipes is usually available at home improvement stores or online. They come in various thicknesses and lengths as well as different colors. Not only does this protect your pipes during cold weather, but installing them is a breeze too – many types of insulation come pre-assembled!
Before you start insulating your pipes, it is essential that they are clean and dry. Doing this will guarantee the insulation will fit correctly without clogging or interfering with water flow.
Measure each pipe you wish to insulate accurately for accurate results. Accurate measurements will enable you to complete your job quickly and efficiently.
Once you’ve measured each pipe, cut the insulation to fit. Cut at a right angle so your cuts are even.
Once your pipes are covered with insulation, it’s a wise to check that none of the pipes have leaked. With that done, you should be able to enjoy a warmer home this winter!
Keep Your Home Warm
If you live in a cold climate, winter is the time to start thinking about heating your home. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with high energy bills, but there are ways you can keep your house warm and prevent expensive damage due to frozen pipes.
To prevent pipe bursts in your home, the first step is to ensure the pipes inside are adequately insulated and not susceptible to freezing. This is especially crucial during low temperatures or wind chills. If your pipes are exposed, consider wrapping them in foam insulation for extra protection.
Once that’s been accomplished, it is essential to maintain a consistent temperature in your home and prevent any temperature swings. You can do this by setting your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher regardless of whether you are staying home or not.
You can also leave some faucets running at a trickle in your home’s coldest spots (especially near exposed water pipes). Running water, even just a small trickle, absorbs more internal heat than standing water does.
Although it may not save you money in the long run, taking action now can prevent a major disaster from occurring. Every year, one in 60 homes file claims for water damage and freezing damage – an issue which could quickly escalate into an expensive issue if not addressed promptly.
Another way to keep your plumbing from freezing is to open cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks when temperatures outside are expected to drop significantly. Doing this allows warmer air inside your home to reach these pipes, keeping them safe and preventing water from freezing inside them.
Finally, if you plan on leaving your house for any extended period of time, shut off the hose from an outdoor faucet. Doing this will prevent water from flowing through and freezing in your hose.
Though these tips may not save you money in the long run, they can make a significant difference in how comfortable your house feels. You’ll be glad that you took extra precautions!