The word “freezing” doesn’t typically come to mind when a person thinks of Arizona, but it can get mighty cold in the Arizona desert, so it’s important to protect your home’s pipes. The good news is there is a lot you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing. See below for some tips on how to do just that.
Secure Your Exterior Pipes
When it comes to protecting your home’s pipes, the first and most important thing you need to know is where your main water supply valve is, as well as the water heater valve, should you need to turn the water off in an emergency.
Once you have this covered, you should secure your pipes for the winter starting from the outside of the house. The best way to do this is through proper insulation. You can, and should, invest in covers for your outside faucets if you haven’t already. You can also buy insulation from your local hardware store and wrap the pipes yourself. Don’t forget about the pipes in your crawl space, attic or outdoor spigot where you connect your hose.
Speaking of your hose, make sure to disconnect it before the colder weather rolls in.
Pipes Most Likely to Freeze
While you should certainly take precautions to protect all your pipes, some pipes have a tendency to freeze more often than others. Your exterior pipes are particularly vulnerable, including your irrigation pipes (like those for your sprinklers) or the pipes leading to your swimming pool.
To keep these pipes from freezing, drain them of all water so there’s nothing in there to freeze. You can do this by turning the water off, then allowing outside faucets to drip until emptied all the way. Also be sure to set your sprinkler pop-ups to “off” so that they will be protected until the warmer weather hits and thaws any icy blockages.
Preserve Your Warmer Air
If your water supply lines are in the garage, be sure to keep the garage doors closed as much as possible during the colder months. You can also funnel warm air to your pipes by opening your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, which will expose your pipes to warmer air.
On a related note, don’t feel like you have to increase the temperature on your thermostat. It’s actually better for your pipes if you leave your thermostat at the same temperature all day every day – ideally 55 degrees or more, even if you’re not home. Yes, you’ll probably see an increase in your heating bill, but it’s nothing compared to what you’d pay a professional to repair the damage from burst pipes.
Be sure to seal up any holes that allow cold air into areas where your pipes are, such as around your electrical wiring and dryer vents.
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze Anyway
If you did everything you could and your pipes freeze anyway, don’t panic. The best way to unfreeze a pipe is to figure out which pipe is frozen (usually this is an exterior pipe) and use a hair dryer or any other device that blows out hot air, like a vacuum canister, to warm up and thaw out the pipe.
Be sure to move the device back and forth to allow the water to thaw more evenly. While you are warming up the pipe, leave a faucet running inside your home to prevent a slug flow in your pipes.
Remember not to heat the pipe too quickly, or it may burst. This includes refraining from pouring hot water on the pipe or using equipment to heat it up like a lighter or another flame-producing tool. If you suspect a pipe has burst or is leaking, turn off your water immediately and call a professional.
Dealing with a Burst Pipe Issue? Plumbing by Jake Can Help!
If you are experiencing issues with a burst pipe in your home, call Plumbing by Jake. Our team of experienced and licensed professionals is available around-the-clock to help you with all your plumbing needs.
Simply call (928) 377-5910 or use the contact form on our website and we can be at your home anytime, day or night, to help with any plumbing situation – emergency or otherwise.
At Plumbing by Jake, we are proud to offer our customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our repairs and installations.