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frozen pipes

How to Winterize Your Plumbing System in 5 Easy Steps

how to prevent frozen pipes | plumbing pueblo co | plumbing canon city co | patterson plumbing

One of the most common problems for homeowners in Pueblo County, Colorado is frozen pipes. With winter approaching, you don’t want a small burst in your home’s plumbing system to cause some big damage. Follow these five steps from Patterson Plumbing to prepare your pipes for the cold season:

1. Turn off and drain your outdoor water lines.

Outdoor pipes are the most susceptible to freezing during the winter months. Turn off and drain your outdoor water lines (i.e. pool, sprinkler system, etc.) at the start of the winter season.

2. Disconnect and store away garden hoses.

If your home has a shut-off valve for external faucets, turn it off.

3. Insulate the pipes inside your home.

Pipe insulation is cheap, easy to install, and a cost-effective way to prevent frozen pipes. Make it a priority to insulate pipes that run along your home’s exterior walls, as these are the most prone to freezing.

4 .Seal any air leaks located near your pipes.

A chilly draft blowing directly on a pipe makes it more likely to freeze. Scan your exterior walls for air leaks and seal them accordingly.

5. Take extra precautions when you leave the house.

Winter is a busy travel season. Whether you are leaving town to vacation or visit your family, keep the following tips in mind so you don’t come home to any surprises:

  • Keep your thermostat set to at least 60° at all times.
  • Keep cabinet doors open so warm air can circulate to the pipes.
  • Turn on a faucet to create a small, steady drip.

Patterson Plumbing offers professional plumbing repair services to homeowners in Pueblo and Canon City, Colorado. Contact us online to schedule your same-day service, or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

Preventing Burst Pipes This Winter

Burst pipes and winter go hand in hand. Why? Well when water freezes while contained, regardless of how strong the material, this expansion adds tremendous pressure – which can cause a pipe to burst. Pipes that freeze the easiest are those exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, water sprinkler lines, and water supply lines in unheated areas of the home (crawl spaces, attics, garages, kitchen cabinets, basements).

Frozen Pipes

With a few preventative measures, you can lower the risk of burst or frozen pipes in your home:

  • Disconnect, drain, and store any outdoor garden hoses. Close inside valves that supply water to the outdoor hose bibs and open the outdoor bibs to let water drain out.
  • Identify unheated areas of the home with exposed pipes. Wrap those you find with pipe insulation or heating tape to prevent freezing.
  • If you are leaving on vacation, do not turn your heat OFF. Leave it on low, but no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow warmer air to circulate your plumbing. (Just be sure no cleaning products or hazardous items are in reach of small children.)
  • Close windows and cover any vents that are near pipes. Cold temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the location of the main shutoff valve and how to close it – in an emergency.

When it comes to your plumbing and the winter season, preparation is key. Should you experience frozen pipes or a pipe burst this season – give us a call immediately. Our team has helped Pueblo homes since the fall of 1984 and will not hesitate to send help your way.

How to Prevent Fires at Home This Winter

Patterson Plumbing & Heating

In winter months, our heating, lighting, and cooking tends to increase dramatically, and with them – the risk of home fires. According to the United States Fire Association, more than 900 people die in winter home fires each year, causing over $2 billion in property loss.

What many people may not realize is that home fires can easily be prevented with just a few, simple precautions:

  • Address frozen pipes correctly — Water pipes at home can freeze if your home gets cold enough. You may be tempted to melt such pipes by flame, not realizing the danger of this tactic. The pipe may conduct enough heat to ignite the wall structure inside the space and spread throughout your home. Instead, try using hot water or a laboratory-tested handheld dryer if you suspect frozen pipes. These easy alternatives can save both lives and money!
  • Use caution when lighting your fireplace — Fireplaces create a cozy aura and look beautiful in a home, but they must be treated with care. Shy away from using flammable liquids to fire up a flame. Also, be sure to install a screen to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out of the fire and onto materials that could cause a hazard to your home.
  • Inspect Smoke Alarms — It may slip your mind, but it’s important to periodically inspect your smoke alarms year-round. These devices can signal fires early on and alert you before spreading throughout your home. Double-check that you have at least one properly functioning alarm on each level of your home.
  • Have the furnace inspected — If you haven’t had your furnace inspected yet, now is the time. It’s best to let professionals handle all the complexities of this machine, so give us a call! During your annual furnace checkup, your Patterson Plumbing technician can identify issues that may seem harmless, but are actually quite dangerous. Your furnace is designed to emit exhaust out of a flute of chimney. If a component isn’t working properly, deadly carbon monoxide could poison your home’s air.

Finally, while not recommended, we know that some of you may still be using portable heaters to heat your home. While they are convenient for you, they are also the MOST dangerous. If you must use a space heater, be sure to keep them far away from flammable materials and turn them off when leaving the room or house. These machines may be small, but they are one of the leading causes of winter home fires.

At Patterson Plumbing & Heating, we’re available for all of your home’s plumbing and heating needs. Give one of our expert technicians a call today: 719-544-4922. Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates and industry news.

photo credit: Fire at Cultra Inn via photopin (license)

Preventing Frozen Pipes

iStock_000024662431_LargeAs you know, when water freezes – it expands. If water begins to freeze in your pipes and expands enough, your pipes may burst. With the severe winter weather we get here in Colorado, the fear of frozen pipes is not far fetched. Cold spells can wreak havoc on home plumbing due to the quick dips in temperature, but poor insulation and setting thermostats too low should also be taken into account.

The good news is, there are steps you can take to prevent such mishaps this season:

  • Keep your home heated at a constant temperature of at least 65 degrees. Inside your walls where your pipes are located, is substantially colder than the walls themselves. Setting a thermostat lower than 65 degrees will not prevent inside the walls from freezing.

  • Add extra insulation where necessary. Check your home’s crawl spaces and attic, anywhere there may be exposed pipes. Wrap susceptible pipes with heat tape.

  • Disconnect any garden hoses before the severe weather really hits. If possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from any pipes that lead to your outdoor faucets.

  • Seal all air leaks that let the cold air in where pipes are located.

  • Keep cabinet doors open below sinks. Since most plumbing runs underneath cupboards, keeping the doors open when it snows or freezes can help circulate warm air.

Despite your best efforts, if your pipes do freeze this season, don’t panic as they may not of yet burst. You may be able to thaw a pipe with warm air from a hair dyer. However should the damage be done, make sure everyone in your household knows where the main shutoff valve is located and how to close it.

Then, give the experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating a call. Our team has helped Pueblo homes since the fall of 1984 and know that you and your home deserve to be treated with respect.