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Winter And Your Water Lines

Here in Nampa, Idaho, the chill has set in. And, you are not the only thing in your home that needs protection from the frosty, cold conditions. As temperatures hit the low 20’s at night, the integrity of your plumbing can become jeopardized.

Think about it—your plumbing carries water to and from your home. When water gets cold, it undergoes a chemical change, expanding, and forming ice. Frozen pipes mean no flowing water, and no flowing water means no functioning plumbing. Hence, today’s blog focuses on the signs your water heater is malfunctioning, and how to prevent your water line from freezing in the first place.

Signs Your Water Line Needs Repair

Since it has been cold here for a while, we, here at Dillon Plumbing, thought it would be best to start with explaining the symptoms of a water line that has already been affected by the chilling weather.

If you have any of the following issues, you need professional water line repair.

  1. You experience a loss in water pressure.

When there is no water, or very little water, coming out of your faucets and fixtures, your water line is likely frozen through. Severe pipe-freezing additionally causes your plumbing to crack or burst. Broken pipes lead to leaks, which will only further perpetuate your low water pressure problem.

  1. You see water spots on your floors, your walls, or your ceiling. Or, you have pooling water in your home.

If you see water spots in your home or notice pooling water on your property, you have a leak. Contact a professional plumber to repair your broken pipe.

  1. Your home has taken on a musty scent.

When water is not properly flowing through your pipes due to completely frozen water lines, or slushy-like water moving through your system, an odor is emitted. The production and distribution of bad smells depend on whether or not your plumbing is airtight. And what makes plumbing airtight? Solid pipes and flowing water.

  1. You see foundational damage or cracks.

If you notice cracks in the foundation of your home, your pipes have most likely ruptured. When water is leaking into the structure of your home, it becomes unstable. Water and wood are not friends; and, when they are put together, wood will swell. This causes shifts in your foundation, which is extremely dangerous for both your home and your family. Ensure your pipes are running smoothly with Dillon Plumbing.

  1. Your water bills have unexplainably spiked.

Is this month’s water bill surprisingly high? If your usage and your utility charges are not matching up—you likely have a leaking pipe that may have frozen on your hands. The ice in the pipe is creating a blockage, once the ice melts, you’ll have a leak! When your plumbing is frozen, your water line has to work harder to deliver water to your home. With your water line working overtime, your water costs will skyrocket.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes

If you can’t wrap your pipes in a blanket, and you can’t dress them in a beanie or a parka, how can you keep your water lines from freezing? Here is the Dillon Plumbing preventative guide to keeping your plumbing functioning during the wintertime!

  1. Disconnect outdoor water sources.

Your garden hose should not be left, attached, outside. Disconnect your hose from your outdoor water supply, drain it, and store it indoors. Additionally, make sure to shut off the indoor water valve that supplies water to your outdoor appliances.

  1. Drain easily affected pipes.

Your swimming pool, sprinklers, and decorative fountains should all be drained for the winter. These pipes have little to no protection against the elements. If you cannot completely drain or remove the water, you can use RV Antifreeze to prevent your water pipes from freezing. It’s safe for your pipes!

  1. Insulate, insulate, insulate!

Heat rises; however, most attics are not insulated. This means all of the heat you are generating with your HVAC system is being lost through your ceiling. Retain your home’s heat better by insulating your vents, light fixtures, and attic space.

  1. Keep your garage door shut.

Do not leave your garage door open for long periods of time during the winter, especially if your garage is attached to your home. An inordinate amount of heat is lost when you leave your uninsulated garage door open, risking the state of your water lines.

  1. Maintain even indoor temperatures.

Use your heater! Make sure to keep your home above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep your water lines thawed!

  1. Seal cracks and leaks.

Make sure you install weather stripping around your doors and caulking around your windows to seal any air cracks in your home! Additionally, make sure your plumbing is leak-free. Contact Dillon Plumbing for any pipe or fixture repairs!

  1. Electrical Heat Tape

Electrical heat tape can be placed around your pipes to prevent freezing. This is a great precaution to take for pipes that are exposed to the elements! Wrap the pipe with the tape, and then add insulation!

For winter pipe repair, contact Dillon Plumbing at (208) 269-9188. We will keep your holiday season running smoothly.

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