Many homeowners in Northeastern Pennsylvania find themselves in situations during the cold winter months where they have frozen pipes or other related plumbing issues. We have serviced countless “frozen pipe” emergencies throughout the years and this article was written to provide homeowners some great advice and resources for preventing these types of plumbing emergencies.
Cecilia Harsch, Angie’s List contributor, has written a great piece on “5 Tips for Winterizing Plumbing and Pipes” on AngiesList.com. One of the tips that we especially like, because it is often overlooked by homeowners, is the following:
Seal off Crawl Space
Pier and beam homes with ventilated crawl spaces should be sealed against the cold weather. Cover your vents with heavy-duty pieces of cardboard cut to fit the vents, duct taping the cardboard in place. Don’t forget to seal off access to the crawl space. If you have a basement, look for cracked basement windows that could allow cold air to make contact with pipes. Check for worn or missing insulation around garage and utility doors. Reducing the amount of cold air in the area minimizes your pipes’ vulnerability.
Click here to read the entire article, Cecilia makes some other fantastic points. Another common problem are hose bibs that freeze up during the winter. In this instance, you may not realize that you have a frozen hose bib until the spring, when things start to thaw out. This next section talks about this specific problem in more detail. It is a clip from homerepairtutor.com, written by Jeff:
A frozen outdoor water faucet or hose bib could be your worst nightmare.
Frozen pipes are like blood clots. Very dangerous. And when they rupture your house and your wallet will suffer enormously.
I don’t regularly check my outside faucets in the winter. So if they’re leaking water I won’t know until we get our $429 water bill in the mail.
This has happened to me, not at my personal house but at a rental home. Needless to say my eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw a bill for that much.
By the end of this post you’ll be able to install a frost-free sillcock, work with SharkBite push on pipe connectors and sleep like a baby without the weight of frozen pipes on your mind. As an added bonus you won’t need to know how to solder copper pipes to do this quick project.
Here are the supplies you’ll need:
- Frost-free sillcock (they’re also called anti-siphon freeze-proof sillcocks)
- A 1 1/4 inch boring drill bit
- SharkBite female straight connector (there’s a picture below)
- Pipe cutter
- Sharpie marker
- Container to catch water (from cut copper pipe)
- Two #8 or #10 wood screws or 3/16 inch by 1 3/4 inch tapcon screws
- Hammer drill if you have brick or stucco siding
- Silicone caulk
The entire article and step by step instructions for changing out a hose bib can be found at: http://www.homerepairtutor.com/frost-free-sillcocks-for-outside-water-faucets-and-hose-bibs/ We know that some homeowners are more than capable of handling this kind of DIY improvement and it will save a lot of money by preventing frozen pipes. We also ran across this helpful video from Larry Parrish that discusses some tips on troubleshooting frozen pipes and if you are in an emergency situation, how to find the water shutoff in your home to prevent a flood.
We hope that you never have to deal with frozen pipes but if you do, this article contains some of the basic tips and troubleshooting advice that most homeowners will need. If you would like more information on how to prevent frozen pipes or if you’d like to see other content on this website, feel free to contact us and submit a request.