Frozen pipes and how to prevent them

Drain pipe lines are a necessary component of any property with water supply. Without these pipe lines, it is very difficult for people to live or work in a place. These plumbing pipes are a part of the water supply and sewage drainage system of a place, be it residential or commercial. Pipes are made with different types of materials like PVC or ABS plastic, copper, iron or steel etc.

These pipes are commonly a part of the internal structure of a building and are installed in the walls and floors but sometimes some pipes are installed outside, in the exterior. So, the type of pipe material used depends upon the function and area where the pipe is going to be installed.

Changing weather can affect both, the element in the material of the pipes and the water inside them. As extreme hot weather causes thermal expansion of materials and also warms the water inside the pipes, cold weather also affects them. In cold weather, the pipes are not as expanded as they are in hot weather and the water in them also becomes cold.

But when the temperature continues to fall and in areas where snow falls happen, the water in the pipes also starts to freeze. Water has properties different from other materials like metals. We know that metals expand on heating, contrary to them; water expands on cooling and when it turns to ice, it occupies more space than the same volume of water would take.

This mostly happens in pipelines that run along the exterior of buildings or houses with less or no insulation, outdoor pipes like those supplying swimming pools and those that are interior but in unheated areas of a house like basements etc.

The frozen and expanded water puts pressure on the pipes and they can burst easily thus damaging your property and you would not only have to repair your damaged property but also your burst pipe. This puts you through both emotional and financial distress.

So, in order to avoid all of this turmoil, one has to find ways to prevent frozen pipes. Because it is better to be safe than sorry. There are many safety measures you can take to prevent frozen pipes. You can relocate the exterior pipes to interior, install any type of insulating material like sleeves to cover the pipes and protect them from extreme weathers both outside and inside wherever the pipes are not protected with insulation. You can drain swimming pools and outside pipes or hose bibs from water and let the outside valve remain open so that water can drain easily.

You can also do this to faucets inside your home, i.e. let them drip a bit to relieve the pressure inside the pipes a little so that the pipe doesn’t freeze and burst. Keep the heating system on and set a suitable temperature on the thermostat. It can be expensive but it will surely save you from the financial burden of repairing and restoration later.

Also make sure to seal any cracks or holes in the pipes in time and let the garage doors remain closed if there are pipes in the garage also. All these measures can help you prevent frozen pipes.