Preventing Frozen Pipes

Written on: February 27, 2023

Don’t end up with a plumbing emergency on a frosty night

plumbing emergency new haven, ct Whether you’re going out of town for an extended period or settling in on a subfreezing night, you need to look out for your home’s plumbing. This month, parts of Connecticut clocked temperatures of -8° to -9°F. Those temperatures are well below freezing and can turn water into solid ice in your home’s exposed pipes. When water freezes, it expands, leading to a burst pipe and a full-blown plumbing emergency.

In Ansonia, Middletown, Fairfield and other towns in western Connecticut, the Seymour Oil & Propane team has answered countless emergency calls involving frozen pipes. We’ve seen the unfortunate damage they cause, from ruined walls to mold.

Here are some tried and true ways to stop pipes from freezing.

Preventing frozen pipes on a freezing night

Don’t panic when nighttime temperatures plunge to the single digits. You can keep your home’s plumbing safe by following some simple steps.

Start off by identifying your most at-risk pipes. These include exposed pipes in garages, basements and crawl spaces, as well as pipes on the outside of your house.

Once you’ve identified the pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing, you should:

  • insulate them with sleeves and insulating tape.
  • shut off the water to any pipes supplying outside faucets, then drain off any remaining water in the pipes.
  • seal air leaks near pipes with weather stripping or caulk.
  • open the cabinet doors under sinks to expose pipes to warm air.
  • run a trickle of warm water overnight from your faucets.

Preventing frozen pipes when you’re away from home

If you’re heading away for multiple days, prepare by following the steps above.

While you’re gone, don’t shut off your home’s heating completely. Lower your thermostat to 55°F instead. If possible, have a neighbor check in on your home if there’s a sudden drop in temperatures.

Dealing with frozen pipes

Sometimes, a confluence of events leads to ice in your pipes despite your best efforts.

If one of your pipes has burst, quickly cut off the water using your house’s main shutoff. Then, call us right away.

If your pipe is frozen but intact, it’s sometimes possible to thaw it yourself, especially if it is only partially frozen. Start by opening a faucet near the pipe. This allows warm water to pass through. It can speed up the thawing process and relieve pressure in your pipes.

You can further speed up the process by applying a hair dryer to the section of the pipe nearest to the faucet and working back toward the coldest section. But be safe. Never use a hair dryer or any other electrical appliance if there is standing water. Also, never use an open flame, which can damage the pipe.

If these at-home fixes don’t do the trick, please contact Seymour Oil & Propane. Our skilled, licensed professionals can handle any plumbing service request. We’ll get there quickly to address your frozen pipe emergency.

Our team is ready to help with all your plumbing needs. Contact us today.