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Is My Plumbing Safe When the Temperature in Greenwood is Below Zero?

Jan 17, 2024

Nearly ever winter, Greenwood residents scrape and shiver as the temperature goes well below the freezing mark and down to those subzero Arctic temperatures. We put on extra sweaters and sit under blankets to keep ourselves wrong, but how much attention do we pay to the plumbing systems in our homes?

Subzero weather’s effect on plumbing is an important consideration, because if our pipes freeze, we face hassles and even the likelihood of significant damage to our homes. Water expands when it freezes, which is why it’s common for pipes that have frozen to burst, flooding large areas of homes and destroying objects. According to the plumbing professionals at Johnson Heating Cooling & Plumbing, the best way to avoid dealing with pipe problems in subzero weather is to prepare ahead.

Find The Valve

If a pipe does freeze and burst, turning off the water supply quickly can minimize damage. That’s why it’s important to know the location of your home’s main water shut-off valve.

Insulate Pipes

If your home’s water or sewer pipes pass through unheated areas, such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics, use pipe insulation or heat tape to provide a barrier against the cold and help you maintain a higher temperature around the pipes so the contents won’t freeze. For added protection in extremely cold areas, consider using electric pipe heating cables. These cables wrap around the pipes and provide a controlled amount of heat to prevent freezing.

Faucet Drips

Running water, even at a slow trickle, helps prevent freezing by relieving pressure in the pipes. During extremely cold nights, open your indoor faucets so they can drip slightly. The cost of any extra water you use will be much smaller than a repair for a busted pipe.

Consistent Temperatures

Maintain a consistent interior temperature, especially during extremely cold weather. While you may lower the thermostat at night, avoid significant temperature drops that could expose the pipes to the potential for freezing.

Seal Gaps

Use caulk and weatherproofing materials to seal any gaps or cracks in walls, floors, and around windows and doors to prevent cold drafts that could bring freezing temperatures into contact with the pipes. If your home has a crawlspace, make sure it is properly sealed and insulated. A well-insulated crawl space can help prevent cold air from reaching the pipes.

Disconnect Hoses

Disconnect and drain your Greenwood home’s outdoor hoses. Also close the inside valves supplying these outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses connected can cause water to back up into the pipes and freeze. Install faucet covers or wrap outdoor faucets and exposed pipes with insulation. This extra layer of protection can shield them from the direct impact of low temperatures.

Cabinet Doors

Open the cabinet doors under your home’s sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. This is particularly important for pipes located along exterior walls.

Smart Thermostat

Consider installing a smart thermostat that allows you to monitor and adjust your home’s temperature remotely. This can be especially useful if you’re away from home during cold weather.

Your Attic?

You probably don’t have any pipes in your attic, so it may seem strange to mention better insulating this part of your Greenwood home. However, a well-insulated attic helps your entire home stay warmer and makes sure that pipes throughout your home are less likely to freeze.

When Pipes Freeze

Taking these precautions, you can help protect your plumbing from the challenges posed by freezing temperatures. But when problems occur, Greenwood-area homeowners turn to Johnson Heating Cooling & Plumbing’s team of expert plumbers. In addition to having the availability, experience, and equipment to serve your home’s plumbing needs, our team is Green Screened, which means we support sustainable and eco-friendly services and products. You’re assured of plumbing work that solves your problems, meets your expectations, and builds your confidence. Ask your neighbors about Johnson Heating Cooling & Plumbing, and you’ll see why so many Johnson County residents see us as their trusted plumbing partner.

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