Depending on when and how they were installed, the pipes in your home may be overly susceptible to the cold weather. Burst pipes are one of the most common plumbing emergencies during the winter, but can easily be avoided with the proper precautions in place. Before the mercury drops below freezing, be sure to have your local professional plumber in to inspect your pipes for evidence of cracks, leaks and other warning signs.
Though some issues may be obvious to the naked eye, most problems with old or worn plumbing are hard to track down without professional expertise. Leaks and broken seals can form anywhere, and oftentimes the effects of a leak can found be far from the source of the damage. Unfortunately, damage to your plumbing increases the likelihood of burst pipes in cold weather. As a precaution, it’s best to have your plumber in for a visit before winter arrives, replacing any questionable pipes or seals before they become problems.
In order to prevent your pipes from bursting, it’s important to understand exactly what causes a pipe to burst. When temperatures dip down below freezing, your pipes also face those same conditions. This means any sitting water in your pipes has the potential to freeze. As the ice forms, it expands, straining your pipes and creating bulges. Eventually, these bulges become too large, cracking the pipe, causing it to burst.
The key to avoiding burst pipes is to effectively insulate your pipes and avoid sitting water in the line. Running water is much less susceptible to freezing, and proper pipe insulation helps prevent ice from forming. Your plumber will be able to tell you what pipes are particularly vulnerable to the cold and install the proper insulation.
Don’t put yourself through the aftermath of a broken pipe. Call your professional plumbing expert in for a complete inspection, and make sure your pipes are prepared for the cold winter months.