frozen copper pipe that has burst

Plumbing Tips for Winter

Your home’s plumbing system can be under a lot of pressure during the winter months. In Denver, the weather can get pretty chilly and this can lead to pipes freezing and bursting. For the homeowners, costly repairs can put a major wrench in your plans, especially if you are already dreaming of taking a vacation to somewhere tropical before the harsh Colorado winter comes to an end.

Let’s talk about how you can best protect your pipes throughout the colder months.

Why Should You Worry About Your Pipes Freezing?

When water becomes cold, it expands. When the water that is expanding is contained in your plumbing, this can mean serious trouble. It doesn’t matter how strong the pipes in your home are, the pipe can break so it’s of great importance that you know how to prevent this from happening. At High 5 Plumbing, we have seen our fair share of frozen pipes.

The most common pipes that will freeze are those that are exposed to freezing temperatures such as:

  • Swimming pool supply lines
  • Water sprinkler lines
  • Outdoor hose bibs
  • Other pipes that are contained in unheated areas like a basement or attic

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes from Bursting in Denver

In order to keep your pipes from freezing, there are some steps you can take. You should always start with the tips below.

  1. Be sure you know precisely where your home’s valves are for shutting off the water.
  2. Also ensure that your outside water spigot is turned off throughout the winter.
  3. If you find that your lines have become frozen, you can always attempt to warm them up by using a hairdryer. Once you notice that the water flow has returned to normal, you can either open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to meet the pipes, wrap a towel around the pipes, or let your faucet drip a tiny bit throughout the winter months.
  4. Whatever you do, don’t use a space heater to warm up frozen pipes. There is much potential for starting a house fire if you do.

How to Winterize Your Plumbing in Colorado

Frozen pipes are a tangible risk during winter in the Denver, CO area. When the thermometer dips below 32°F, water expands as it freezes. By taking a few steps now and during winter storms, you can prevent the costly damage caused by frozen and burst pipes. Here are a few tips for how to protect your pipes in cold weather.

#1: Insulate Exposed Pipes

Pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing are exposed to severe cold. These include outside pipes such as water sprinkler lines or outdoor hose spigots. Unheated areas like crawl spaces, basements, attics, and garages, can also pose a risk to your water lines. You should insulate any hot or cold water pipes that run through these areas. You may even want to insulate any exposed hot water pipes inside heated areas of your home to keep their heat from dissipating in the cooler temperatures.

Products designed to insulate water pipes include pipe sleeves, heat tape, heat cables, or similar products readily available from your local plumbing and home improvement stores.

#2: Add Insulation to Your House

Having adequate insulation in your attic, basement, crawl spaces, and even your garage can help maintain a higher temperature in your home. As an added bonus, your heating bill should be reduced from prior years.

#3: Drain Outside Lines

You should have your home’s irrigation system lines drained and blown out before the freezing weather sets in. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or hire an expert to do this.

#4: Prevent Frozen Pipes

When winter weather has arrived, let water from your cold line drip from faucets that are fed by exposed pipes. Running water is less likely to freeze. Open cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathrooms to let warmer air reach your plumbing. If you keep cleaning supplies under the sinks, you may wish to relocate them away from the reach of kids.

If you need assistance with protecting your plumbing in cold weather, call our experienced, licensed plumbing technicians at High 5 Plumbing for help.

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