It’s every homeowner’s nightmare scenario: walking in the front door to see water all over the place. This means destroyed furniture, costly repairs, and the time expenditure to handle the whole mess. Unfortunately, burst pipes are more common than you might realize. Esurance reports that “water damage due to burst pipes and other perils is the second-most filed insurance claim in the U.S.” Given the costs associated with burst pipes, it makes a lot of sense to do your best to prevent them from ever happening.
Here are some useful tips to make sure the pipes at your home don’t burst.
Keep Your Pipes Warm
Though pipes can burst at any time of year, the most common reason for burst pipes is due to water freezing within them. When water within a pipe freezes, it expands. This expansion can eventually become too much for the pipes to contain, leading them to burst. It’s important to make sure your pipes stay consistently warm. Keep your furnace at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even during the night and when you’re not home.
Since a lot of piping is located in areas that don’t get much heat, try to facilitate heat circulating to these areas. Keep your cabinet doors open under sinks in your kitchen and bathroom so warm air can make its way to the plumbing there. If you have outside water lines running to your lawn or pool, disconnect the hoses and drain the water to prevent it from freezing. Insulate water pipes in the areas most vulnerable to cold, like those in your garage or basement.
Keep Water Flowing
If it’s very cold outside, and you’re concerned that your pipes may freeze and burst, turn on the faucets that draw water from the pipes exposed to the frigid temperatures. You don’t need the water to rush out, but just allowing water to drip out is an effective way to prevent the buildup of pressure which can cause pipes to burst. If water only dribbles out when it should be rushing out, you may already have a frozen pipe. Take care of this ASAP by identifying the pipe in question and using heat tape, a space heater, or towels soaked in hot water to thaw out the ice before the pipes can burst.
Need help with a burst pipe in your home? Contact Service 1 today!
Keep An Eye On Water Pressure
High water pressure can cause pipes to burst. If you have a clog somewhere in your plumbing that isn’t addressed, water pressure can increase. You can have your water pressure tested if it seems to be unusually high. If your water pressure registers at 80 psi or higher, have a plumber solve the problem or otherwise reduce the pressure. If you notice your water pressure is really low, this can also indicate other sorts of problems, such as a leak in your pipes. Have a professional come out and assess the situation before it gets worse.
Repair Any Old Or Corroded Pipes
Pipes will generally last for a long time, but certain circumstances can reduce their lifespan. There are many signs that can indicate pipe issues. If you see water stains on your walls, or if your water bill is much higher than usual, there is likely a leak. Water that comes out discolored is often an indication of corroded pipes. If your pipes are making a lot of noise, this can indicate that they are loose. When pipes make contact with each other over time, damage can occur that can cause them to burst. If you notice anything out of the ordinary about your pipes, have a professional come out and take a look. It’s far better to be safe than sorry, since the damage from burst pipes can cost thousands of dollars to repair.
If you need assistance with burst pipe prevention or repair, call Service 1 Plumbing, Heating, and A/C at (815) 694-0022 at any time, day or night, or schedule an appointment online.