Of all the plumbing fixtures in your home, you probably spend the least amount of time thinking about your outdoor faucets. They are easy to forget about, but when wintertime rolls around, remembering to take care of them becomes extremely important. Failing to insulate your outdoor faucets will likely lead to frozen and burst pipes, so this is one maintenance task you definitely do not want to overlook. Keep reading to discover how to insulate outdoor pipes and avoid a serious plumbing disaster this winter.
Insulate Outdoor Faucets in 3 Easy Steps
Step One: Shut Off the Water
Plumbing pipes that have water in them freeze easily when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Turning off your outdoor water supply valve cuts off the supply to your outdoor faucets, making them less prone to freezing. If you will be heading south for the winter, turn off the main water supply to your entire house.
Step Two: Remove Accessories and Drain Water
Once you have turned off the water supply, remove all attachments – like hoses – from your outdoor faucets. Make sure hoses are empty prior to rolling them up and storing them away from the winter. Once the attachments have been removed, open the faucet to allow any remaining water to drain from the line.
Step Three: Install Insulation
Once the water is removed from the faucet and pipes, you still need to insulate the faucet itself. Covers made from foam insulation are available at any hardware store, and they are easy to install. Simply place it over the faucet and any exposed plumbing pipe.
Insulating your outdoor faucets is easy, and doing so can save you a lot of money and frustration. If you need help getting your home’s plumbing system ready for winter or if you are dealing with a frozen pipe in Hagerstown, the expert plumbers at Larry & Sons are here to help. Call 301-733-5428 anytime day or night.
Dealing with frozen pipes is something no homeowner ever wants to do. Unfortunately, it’s a possible reality when the temperature drops below freezing. While there are several things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing – like leaving faucets drip and installing foam pipe insulation – sometimes, even the best efforts fail.
If you have frozen pipes in your home, don’t panic! Here’s what to do when you have a frozen pipe.
What to Do When You Have a Frozen Pipe
Because a frozen pipe can burst and cause significant damage, we recommend contacting a professional plumber when you’re dealing with frozen pipes. If, however, you’d rather take a DIY approach, here are a few things you should – and shouldn’t – do.
Leave the faucet open. As the frozen area in the pipe begins to melt and water starts flowing, it will help melt the ice in the line.
Apply heat where the pipe is frozen. Wrap an electric heating pad or towels soaked in hot water around the pipe. You can also use an electric hair dryer or heat gun. Do NOT use a blowtorch or any type of device that uses an open flame.
Warm the area using a space heater. If the frozen pipe is in an unheated area such as your basement, crawlspace or attic, set up an electrical portable space heater to warm the area. Never leave the heater unattended, and make sure it’s set up away from flammable materials.
Apply heat until water is fully restored. When thawing your pipes, don’t stop applying heat until your full water pressure has been restored.
Know when you call for help. If the frozen pipe is visibly bulging, turn off your water and call a licensed plumber immediately. It’s also crucial to call in an expert if you’ve been trying to thaw your pipes yourself and not had any success. The longer your pipes are frozen, the greater the chance of them bursting.
Frozen Pipe in Hagerstown
If you’re dealing with a frozen pipe in Hagerstown, don’t risk a disastrous rupture. Contact the licensed plumbers at Larry & Sons for the plumbing repair help you need. Call 301-733-5428.
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