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Ask any of your neighbors who have ever experienced a burst pipe in their home what the worst part was, and they will tell you that the water cleanup was perhaps the easiest aspect. The issues to follow include replacing all the damaged components, including pipes as well as carpet and drywall, fighting the inevitable onset of mold, having to do battle with the insurance companies over policy changes, and worst of all having to come up with thousands of dollars to pay for the repairs.
It seems the obvious plan of attack then would be to avoid a drain line freeze by whatever means necessary. There are times when the temperatures get so cold that the home is at an increased risk but there are still plenty of ways to defend your home against the big freeze.
Very rarely do bitter wind chills and excessively low temperatures just appear out of nowhere therefore prevention is always the most important strategy against frozen drain lines. First off, every resident in the home should know where the water shut off valve is in case of emergency or when leaving over multiple days in the winter. Pipes should also be insulated as should any gaps that could allow exposure of cold temperatures and bitter wind to the pipes. Also, outdoor hoses should be removed in the winter to prevent backflow.
When cold weather is coming
If the weather forecast is calling for unseasonably low temperatures well below zero, it is important to put your home into action. One of the best steps is to let water trickle from the faucets so that the pipes have an open pressure end and that water is moving, which means it has a harder time freezing. When cold weather is expected you can also turn up the heat in the home to raise the overall temperature of the surroundings. It also does not hurt to temporarily seal off crawl space vents for maximum protection.
If a pipe does freeze
The pipes in your home will freeze before they burst, so it is important to act fast on the former so the latter does not occur. If water flow is greatly reduced or completely nonexistent, it is a sign of a frozen pipe. The first step is to turn off the main water valve while leaving the faucets open. Then a combination of heat and patience is the best way to get the pipes functional again before ultimately turning back on the main valve slowly.
Calling the professionals
A frozen drain line can be a scary experience but it is one that can be handled. A good combination of training, prevention, and action will keep your home safe in even extremely cold temperatures. If you do end up having problems, make sure that you call the professionals at Dr. Pipe Drain and Plumbing Services.