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How to Combat Frozen Pipes This Winter


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Frozen pipes are some of the widespread concerns during winter. As the air outside gets colder, pipes freeze and water in the interior spaces turns to ice, forcing pressure downstream between the ice blockage and your faucets. This can result in bursts and heavy flooding, causing massive damages to your property. However, there are various things you can do to combat frozen pipes during winter.

We have put together some of the best practices to implement before winter starts and how to defrost pipes in Tacoma. If your pipes burst, we recommend calling an emergency plumber like us to prevent further damage to the property!

Keep Temperatures Above 20 Degrees Fahrenheit

According to a study by the University of Illinois Building Research Council, the minimum temperature below which pipes freeze is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are incidences where pipes can freeze above this threshold, especially when parts are exposed to the cold outside air. Nonetheless, it is recommended to ensure your pipes aren’t exposed to temperatures approaching the 20 degrees threshold.

Finish Pre-Winter Insulation and Repair

Insulation prevents heat exchange between surfaces. You can choose from fiberglass, polyethylene, and foam insulations, which are inexpensive compared to the cost of repairing pipe bursts. Insulating your pipes will help prevent heat exchange, allowing you to maintain a consistent temperature within your pipes. You should finish insulation before the winter starts and make sure all cracks and crawl spaces are sealed. You can then apply electrical heating tape around your pipes. It will help you heat the pipes and keep them above freezing temperatures.

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Maintain a Consistent Temperature in Your Home

The goal is to prevent heat exchange, so cold air doesn’t get in, and heat isn’t lost. You should make sure the thermostat is consistent, the garage door is closed, and interior doors and cabinets are open to allow free air distribution inside the house. As a rule of thumb, the temperature should be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit when leaving home. High indoor temperatures play a significant role in preventing pipes from freezing and bursting, especially when combined with electrical heating tapes.

Leave Your Faucets Running

Moving water experiences friction between the water and the internal surface of the pipes, producing a small amount of heat, yet significant enough to keep your pipes from freezing. Running water is harder to freeze than still water, so leaving a few faucets dripping can prevent ice blockages. The trickling also relieves pressure that has built up inside the pipes. You can target faucets fed by pipes exposed to harsher conditions and cold air. Make sure you use a pipe to divert and conserve the water leaking from open faucets.

Reliable Plumbing Services in Tacoma

Preparing for winter and combating challenges during the cold season is crucial to keeping your home functional, safe, and comfortable. Harts Services is customer-centric and focuses on meeting the unique needs of each customer. We offer full-house plumbing and emergency plumbing services Tacoma, WA, residents can trust to keep your pipes safe throughout all seasons, including winter. Contact us today to find out more!

Harts Author

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Harts Services

We’re a local company proudly providing affordable sewer and pipe repairs, installations, and maintenance to help make our community a more comfortable place for all.


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