7 Tips For St. Louis Homeowners To Prevent Frozen Pipes & Avoid Costly Repairs

Hey, St. Louis! Don't let the cold catch you off guard. Winter has arrived in St. Louis, bringing the possibility of plumbing issues caused by freezing temperatures. To avoid being caught off-guard by the cold, it's important to take some simple precautions to prevent your pipes from freezing and to avoid costly repairs. Here are seven easy ways to keep your pipes from freezing:

1. Insulate Pipes Properly

In order to prevent frozen pipes during the cold months, it is highly recommended to insulate them properly. You can do this by using pipe insulation sleeves, towels, or blankets to cover any exposed pipes. Insulating pipes in basements, crawlspaces, or attics is especially crucial where temperatures can drop significantly. By insulating your pipes, you can avoid costly repairs and ensure that your plumbing system remains in good condition throughout the winter season.

2. Keep Cold Air Out of Your Home

Don't let the chilly breeze sneak into your cozy home! Protect your indoor comfort by sealing gaps and cracks that allow cold air in. Check the walls, floors, and windows for any openings, and use weatherstripping or caulking to seal them. By doing so, you'll keep the harsh elements outside and maintain a warm and welcoming atmosphere inside.

3. Maintain a Consistent Indoor Temperature

Keeping your home warm and at a consistent temperature during the winter season is crucial to avoid potential pipe issues. A great way to prevent frozen pipes is by setting your thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you're not at home. This will help to ensure that your pipes remain warm and functional, saving you from the headache and expense of dealing with frozen or burst pipes.

4. Let Your Faucets Drip 

During frigid weather conditions, it is essential to safeguard your pipes from freezing and bursting. One practical way to achieve this is by letting a small amount of water drip from your faucets. The moving water will prevent it from freezing and bursting your pipes. To be more effective, make sure to turn on a faucet that has pipes that are prone to freezing, especially during frigid nights.

5. Open Your Cabinet Doors Under Sinks

During cold weather, it's essential to take precautions to prevent pipes from freezing. One way to do this is by opening the cabinet doors under sinks. By doing so, you allow warm air to circulate around the pipes, which helps to maintain a consistent temperature and prevent freezing. This simple step can make a big difference in keeping your plumbing system in good condition and avoiding costly repairs.

6. Unhook and Drain Outdoor Hoses

As the colder temperatures approach, it is crucial to take preventive measures to avoid any damage to your outdoor plumbing system. One such step is to disconnect and drain all the outdoor hoses. This is necessary to prevent any water from getting trapped inside the hoses, which can freeze and lead to burst pipes. Therefore, it is highly recommended to disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses before the onset of cold weather.

7. Inspect for Water Leaks

During winter, inspecting your plumbing system for any signs of leaks or cracks is crucial. Even small leaks can cause significant damage, leading to costly repairs. Take the time to carefully examine your pipes and promptly address any issues that you find to ensure that your plumbing system remains in optimal condition throughout the winter season.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Winter Plumbing Issues

Winter weather can sometimes lead to plumbing issues despite your best efforts to prevent them. But there's no need to worry! With some simple troubleshooting, you can usually fix these problems yourself and keep the water flowing smoothly. Here are a few common plumbing issues that occur during the winter and how you can address them.

1. When the weather gets very cold, the water inside the pipes can freeze and cause them to become blocked. If you notice that only a trickle of water is coming out of your faucet, it can be a sign of a frozen pipe. To fix this issue, you need to locate the frozen section of the pipe and gently thaw it out. One way to do this is by using a hair dryer to blow hot air onto the frozen area. You can also use hot towels wrapped around the pipe to help thaw it. It's important never to use open flames or a blowtorch to try to thaw the pipe, as this can be extremely dangerous and could cause a fire. Always use a gentle heat source and take your time to thaw the pipe slowly and carefully. It is advisable to hire a professional plumber to thaw frozen pipes.

2. Burst pipes can be a common issue during periods of extreme cold. If you find yourself dealing with a burst pipe, the first thing you should do is turn off the water supply at the main shut-off valve. This is important to prevent further water damage. After that, it's crucial to call a professional plumber as soon as possible to fix the issue.

3. Winter holidays are a time for cooking and celebrating with loved ones. However, with the increase in cooking and entertaining, there is also an increased risk of clogged drains. Grease and other cooking materials can build up in your pipes, leading to blockages and potential plumbing issues. To prevent this, be sure to dispose of greasy materials properly and avoid pouring them down the drain. If you do encounter a clog, try using a plunger or a drain-cleaning solution to clear it out. If the problem persists, don't hesitate to call a licensed plumber for further assistance. They can identify the source of the issue and provide a safe and effective solution to get your drains flowing smoothly again.

4. During cold weather, it is common to experience water heater issues. It may require servicing if you notice a decreased hot water supply or strange noises coming from your water heater. Contacting a professional plumber to diagnose and address water heater problems is highly recommended.

Remember, your safety should always take precedence when it comes to plumbing issues. Plumbing problems can be complicated and potentially hazardous, so taking precautions and seeking professional help when necessary is vital. If you're not confident in your ability to fix the issue yourself, or if you're unsure what the problem is, it's best to call a licensed plumber. They have the knowledge and expertise to identify and resolve the issue efficiently, ensuring your safety and minimizing further damage. Don't hesitate to reach out to a professional if you need assistance with your plumbing needs.

Trust a Family Owned St. Louis Plumbing Company

R.A. Guinner Plumbing Company provides unbeatable service, reliability, and lasting solutions for all your plumbing needs in the St. Louis region. Our company is family-owned and operated, and we pride ourselves on "top of the line" service for over 90 years. Our plumbers are licensed, bonded, and insured for your protection. 

R.A. Guinner Plumbing Company offers complete bathroom and kitchen remodeling services and specializes in guiding clients through every step of the process. When you're ready to renovate your kitchen or bath, we can handle the entire project, from design to demolition to refinishing. No project is too big or small for us to handle, and we always hold ourselves to the highest standards to ensure your needs are met, and you are delighted with the results. Call us today at 314-752-9850 to discuss your requirements.

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