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Protecting and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Protecting and Thawing Frozen Pipes	Snow and freezing temperatures are a rarity in San Antonio, so we very seldom have to worry about frozen pipes. But every now and then, it can happen, and even here, homeowners may experience the particular kind of woe that comes with realizing you’ve got a burst pipe that you need to get fixed before it floods your home and causes extensive damage.

Dealing With Frozen Pipes in San Antonio

Since freezing weather is rare here, water pipes are often not well insulated. However, in the event of an occasional freeze, we are warned to wrap or cover up our outdoor water faucets after disconnecting and draining hoses. Indoors, you should also take measures to protect your pipes in these locations:

  • Garage, basement, attic or any unheated space.
  • Pipes running through exterior walls.
  • Inside cabinets.

In a cold snap, plunging temperatures may cause pipes in these locations to freeze when heat from the furnace can’t reach them. Take these measures to protect indoor pipes next time a freeze is imminent:

  • Wrap pipes in cabinets, garage, basement or attic with insulation or heat tape.
  • Leave cabinet doors open so heat can reach inside.
  • If weather is expected to be extra cold, leave a space heater on in these areas overnight.
  • Turn the faucet on so that it drips cold water and prevents freezing.
  • If you leave home for any length of time, set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees F to maintain above-freezing conditions.

Thawing Pipes

If your pipes are frozen one morning (water won’t come out), then exercise caution when thawing. Turn off the main shutoff valve at the water meter to prevent water from gushing into your home from a burst pipe.

If you don’t think a pipe has burst, do the following:

  • Turn on the faucet so cold water flows through to melt the ice.
  • Wrap a heating pad around the pipe, or use a space heater or hair dryer to thaw the section of frozen pipe.

For more on frozen pipes, contact Beyer Boys. We serve San Antonio and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).