A frozen pipe

Frozen Pipes: Causes, Prevention, and What to Do if They Freeze

As a homeowner or business owner in Northwest Suburban Chicago, you know that winter can be challenging for your plumbing system. The cold weather can wreak havoc on your pipes, especially if you’re not careful. Frozen pipes are one of the most common winter plumbing problems, and they can lead to costly repairs.

But don’t worry, Bishop Plumbing is here to help. We’ve been the top choice for HVAC and plumbing services in the area for years, and our plumbers and technicians are fully trained, certified, and ready to tackle your repairs and replacements quickly.

What Causes Pipes to Freeze?

When temperatures drop below freezing, water in pipes can expand and turn to ice. This can cause the pipes to burst, leading to leaks and water damage. Pipes are most likely to freeze in areas exposed to the cold, such as outside faucets, pipes in unheated crawl spaces, and pipes under kitchen and bathroom sinks.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

There are a few things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Insulate exposed pipes. You can use pipe insulation sleeves or foam wrap to insulate pipes in your attic, crawl space, and under sinks.
  • Seal air leaks around pipes and windows. Air leaks can let cold air enter your home and freeze your pipes. Seal any air leaks around pipes and windows with caulk or weatherstripping.
  • Keep your thermostat set at or above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re away from home. This will help to keep your pipes from freezing, even if the temperature drops outside.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. This is especially important in cold weather.
  • Let a faucet drip slowly if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing. This will help to keep the water in the pipes moving and prevent it from freezing.

What to Do if Your Pipes Do Freeze

If your pipes freeze, acting quickly to prevent further damage is essential. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Shut off the water supply to the frozen pipe. You can do this by finding the main water valve for your home and turning it off.
  • Apply heat to the pipe using a heating pad, hair dryer, or space heater. Be careful not to overheat the pipe, as this could damage it.
  • Once the pipe has thawed, turn the water back on and check for leaks. If you find any leaks, repair them immediately.
  • If you’re uncomfortable thawing your pipes, you can call our licensed plumbers at Bishop Plumbing for assistance.

Tips from Bishop Plumbing

Here are a few additional tips to help you keep your pipes safe this winter:

  • Have your plumbing system inspected by a licensed plumber before the start of winter. This will help identify potential problems that could lead to frozen pipes.
  • If you have a vacation home, drain the pipes before you leave. This will help to prevent the pipes from freezing while you’re away.
  • If you have a power outage, let your faucets drip slowly to keep the water moving. This will help to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Take steps to prevent frozen pipes today. Follow the tips above and contact Bishop Plumbing at (847) 908-9770 if you have any questions or concerns. We’re here to help you keep your plumbing system safe and healthy all year.

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