Ask The Plumber – Freezing Pipes

Ask The Plumber – Freezing Pipes

I have had plumbing pipes freeze in the winter. What can I do to prevent this from happening?

answerExtremely cold conditions in the Erie area can sometimes cause plumbing problems. It is best to be prepared ahead of time. There are several issues that you can look for in your home.

The most prevalent cause of frozen pipes is a draft coming from outside. It could be a cracked basement window, a crack in the foundation of your home, or a penetration through the house itself. Sealing or repairing those cracks will help tremendously.

Another issue that may cause frozen water damage is the lack of heat to a certain area of your home. Though it seems like an easy way to save money on the heating bill, you are actually putting your home at risk. Basements and garage areas that have plumbing in ceiling or wall areas should be kept well above freezing (We would suggest at least 45-50° F).

If you are going to be out of town for more than two weeks, you should have your home winterized. When we winterize a home, we tell our customers to set the thermostat at a warm temperature in case there is a power outage or a deep cold spell.

One other issue that may be causing a frozen pipe problem is inadequate insulation within the home. If your residence is older, it will probably be lacking in the proper amount of insulation needed. Keep those thermostats set a bit higher. Be sure that your home is properly insulated before the cold comes our way to be certain that your home will be safe.

If you have any suspicions of problems or you see higher water bills, you may just want to give us a call so that we can help you diagnose the problem. It is always best to ask.