If you’re leaving your home unattended for any period of time during the very frigid months of the winter, there are many things to keep in mind. While you’re running through that checklist in advance of your departure, don’t forget to keep in mind frozen pipes, which can be an often-overlooked but damaging byproduct of the low temperatures.
How can this pesky inconvenience be avoided? There are some fairly cheap options that if applied can allow you to skirt the inevitable hiring of a plumber. First, and fairly simply, is the insulation of all water pipes and drain lines from the cold, free-flowing air, while also keeping these areas of interest dry. If you notice some are damp and the insulation looks to be thinning, make it a priority to get some new product put in. Another option is heater tapes, which can be wrapped around the pipes.
If it’s too late and there is already a frozen pipe, proceed with caution. Identity what kind of pipe it is, whether it is plastic, copper, or metal. The metal pipes can be thawed using an electric space heater, hand-held dryer, or a heat lamp, but always do so with extreme care. A big no-no is the use of a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove or any other open flame device.
It’s good to keep the faucet open during the thawing of the pipe, as water will begin to flow and this in turn can help melt the ice. If this does not result in a complete thawing of the pipe in question, it is always best to call a plumber. There’s no use in compounding the issue and costing you more money and damage in the process.
If you are leaving the home for an extended period of time, it is recommended that the temperature be set no lower than 55 degrees, and that the main water supply be shut off and the system be drained by opening all faucets and flushing toilets. That’s a lot of preventative work to adhere to just so you can potentially avoid this major annoyance. Hiring a professional like Home Sitters of Cape Cod to look after your dwelling can ensure that this heavy checklist is strictly followed and that the pipes are in good working order; not susceptible to the freezing temperatures.