Now that you know freezing water and plumbing lines do not mix well, is there anything you can do to prevent the worst from happening? The answer is a resounding yes, so pay close attention!
Because water expands as it freezes, you ultimately end up with a burst pipe, an expensive emergency plumbing repair that can have devastating consequences. Your local Pittsburgh plumbers advise you to be proactive this autumn and take the appropriate measures to prevent your pipes from bursting.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
You have probably heard that you should let the water in your house run continuously in order to keep the lines from freezing, and this is indeed a valid form of action. Obviously this does not mean you have to completely open the faucets — slow drips will suffice in most cases. The reason this works is not due to the flow of the water through the pipes, but rather that doing so alleviates the internal line pressure between the ice blockage and the faucet itself.
Even if the water inside the pipe freezes, which it almost always will when the temperature dips below 3.98 degrees Celsius, the absence of excess pressure will prevent the pipe from bursting. Sure, you may waste a bit of water doing this, but it certainly beats having to hire an emergency plumber to repair a damaged line!
Re-routing plumbing lines to areas that do not expose them to subfreezing temperatures is the best way to prevent bursting, but since this can be very expensive, insulation is a more affordable and sound alternative. Specialty sleeves and heat wrapping are designed to fit over water pipes and can greatly mitigate the risk associated with freezing and bursting. If you decide to go this route, it only makes sense to purchase the thickest insulation for the job, especially since Pittsburgh has been known to have some dreadful winters.