A Few Simple Frozen Pipe Prevention Actions Can Save Homeowners Money and Aggravation

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Denver plumber Bob Ansel says frozen pipes are largely preventable and offers homeowners tips to prepare their plumbing for the harsh winter months.

Winter is a magical time in Colorado, with opportunities for cold-weather activities more abundant than any other state. But freezing temperatures also bring challenges, and Denver plumber Bob Ansel says a few tips to prevent frozen and bursting pipes can save homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs.

“Every winter we get the calls from people frantic that their pipes have burst and their home is subject to water damage, expensive plumbing repairs and, of course, a disruption to their lifestyle,” says Ansel, owner of Drain Solvers, which serves the Denver metro area and the northern Front Rage of Colorado. “Homeowners in their home for years with no problem often are surprised that a pipe bursts.

“You just never know when weather conditions will strike a home’s pipes, but homeowners can take a few relatively simple and inexpensive measures to prevent frozen pipes this winter,” he adds.

Here’s the Drain Solvers Checklist to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter:

·     Remove all garden hoses from the outdoor faucets. Freezing water in garden hoses can back up into the line and spit the pipes and/or faucet.
·     Check all of the pipes in the basement, crawl space and attic to find any that might be exposed to an open window or wall that is not insulated. These pipes should be wrapped with insulation, a so-called “pipe sleeve,” or with UL-rated heat tape, both of which are available at any hardware or home improvement store.
·     Never turn the furnace down below 55 degrees, and check to see that this temperature is maintained in every room in the house, especially the basement or attic.
·     Check around the outside of the home, in foundation and where the foundation meets the wall, for any cracks. These should be filled with caulking immediately to prevent cold air from seeping into the house and near the pipes.
·     Make sure to know where the main water shut-off valve for the home is located and how to operate it. In the event of an emergency, turning off the water supply quickly will prevent a lot of damage.
·     During extreme cold, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing (Don’t leave any caustic chemical cleaners in reach of children!).

According to research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois, the temperature “alert” threshold for frozen pipes, that is the temperature at which homeowners should be concerned about freezing dangers, is just 20 degrees F. The average low temperatures for the Denver metro area range from 23 degrees F in November, to the high teens for the next three months, and of course the area is subject to extreme lows at any time throughout the winter season.

“It’s amazing how many calls we get early in the season from people who simply forgot to remove their hoses or left windows open in the basement,” says Ansel. “Just a few minutes checking the house, and perhaps a little work insulating or caulking can save any homeowner a lot of money and aggravation. Prevention is much better than repair, trust me.”

Drain Solvers performs all home plumbing services, including emergency plumbing 24 hours a day with a two-hour appointment guarantee. The plumbing company services the entire Denver Metro Area, and the Northern Colorado cities of Longmont, Loveland and Ft. Collins. For more information, phone 303-423-1000 (Denver/Boulder), 970-812-0540 (Loveland/Fort Collins), and visit http://www.drainsolvers.com.

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Danielle Yuthas

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