Even with Arizona’s milder winters, it might be surprising in Phoenix to see our temperatures drop below freezing. Many Phoenix plumbers get very busy repairing leaks from very cold tempurtures. Freezing temperatures can lead to several problems for our plumbing including waterline breaks, leaks and headaches.
If you’ve been in the Valley long, you know many leaks can occur overnight when the temperatures dip down to the twenty’s. One of our most common calls during this season is due to emergency leaks. These leaks happen because temperatures drop so rapidly and the standing water inside the pipes freeze and expand which leads to cracks and breaks. Once the water thaws, there is usually a leak in one of your valves or pipes
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent leaks and breaks from happening, aside from draining all your water lines:
- Keep your exposed pipes and valves warm.
- An easy way to insulate your main outside valves is by wrapping a blanket around them to protect them from the freezing temperatures.
- Another option for insulation is to cover your outside pipes with Styrofoam or pipe sleeves, which can be found at your local hardware store.
- Let the outside water line drip just a little bit all night long. This water movement inside will prevent standing water and reduce the chance for a frozen pipe.
If you are consistently having a problem with the same pipe freezing every year, it might be worth moving the pipe. The water line can be rerouted to avoid future freezing and leaks.
The morning after a freeze, take a few extra minutes to review your outside pipes and valves before leaving to examine for cracks. I promise the three minutes will be time well spent to avoid coming home to leaking water.