You may find it surprising that Texas ranks as the fourth worst state for burst pipes. Having pipes burst due to the freeze-thaw cycle is more than an inconvenience. Clean-up and restoration after leaking pipes can be costly, and the process can be frustrating and stressful.
Your home is most at risk for frozen pipes breaking over the winter months. This is often after a winter storm causes freezing temperatures in North Dallas. In Frisco, Plano, and Richardson, average January low temps are close to 32 degrees. The risk grows if you are spending less time at home or if it’s unoccupied while you’re out traveling.
Here is what you need to know about preventing frozen pipes and what to do if they burst and leak.
Preventing Your Pipes From Bursting
A little preparation can prevent the need to call a plumber for emergency pipe repairs. Try these tips to prevent your pipes from bursting:
Keep Plumbing Fixtures Warm
You don’t have to put a space heater up to your plumbing, but even opening up a cabinet door to fixtures on your outside walls can dramatically decrease the chances of those fixtures freezing.
If you notice a draft inside the cabinet where the fixture is, contact an insulation contractor to seal up any areas where the draft might be originating. You can also wrap pipes in unheated areas for extra protection.
Let Faucets Drip
One of the main reasons DFW residents experience burst pipes is to remember to drip their faucets. Letting your faucets drip can help you effectively prevent your pipes from bursting. Remember to drip water from both the faucet’s hot and cold sides.
To conserve water, you can do this if the faucet is on the exterior wall. But an upstairs interior wall fixture supplied by a first-floor water line on an outside wall could be a different story. A professional plumber can determine which faucets you should let drip in your home.
Remove Attachments From Outside Fixtures
You will want to remove any attachments from your outside faucets. This includes splitters and pool fill lines.
Prepare Your Outdoor Kitchen
Do you have an outdoor kitchen? You’ll want to prepare it for the winter months as well. Consider shutting off the water supply and removing the water from any supply lines or faucets. You might also try adding drain-safe antifreeze to the p-trap or applying a pipe-heating cable to any components susceptible to freezing.
Turn Off the Water and Drain Your System
If you’ll be away for an extended period this winter, the Dallas Fire Department suggests turning off your water and draining your system. Shut off the main valve and turn on all your fixtures, like faucets and showers, to flush them. Be sure to turn off the water heater.
Have Your Thermal Envelope Audited
The thermal envelope is an area that separates the lived-in spaces or spaces you climate control from the ones you don’t. The better your thermal envelope, the more energy efficient your home is, and the better insulated it will be.
A qualified contractor can audit your thermal envelope to see where you can make improvements. A more energy-efficient home will retain heat, reducing the chances of pipes freezing. Most modern homes, except for power outages, are built to prevent frozen pipes without dripping faucets.
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
If you’re a homeowner in North Dallas with a large lawn, you likely have a built-in sprinkler system to water it. Unfortunately, if you aren’t careful, these pipes can freeze relatively easily.
How you winterize your system will vary, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before you start. You should also drain your backflow device before winter hits.
Pipe Bursting FAQs
Can Insurance Protect Against Water Pipes Breaking?
Should a water pipe break, insurance will often cover part or all of the cost of repairs. However, it will depend on your individual policy and the extent of the damage.
What Is the Average Insurance Claim for Burst Pipe Water Damage?
When Should I Call a Plumber for Burst Pipes?
If a pipe in your home bursts turn off the water at the supply, then call a professional plumber immediately to minimize frozen burst pipe cleanup later.
What Will a Plumber Do and Not Do After a Burst Pipe?
It depends on the plumber and the nature of the damage. For example, a plumber may focus on water leak detection if the location of the burst pipe isn’t immediately apparent.
In any case, your plumber’s goal will be to repair any damaged pipes. A plumber will not perform pipe burst cleanup and repairs. You will need to hire a restoration company to do this.
Don’t Wait for Winter’s Wrath: Call Legacy Plumbing Today
Prevention is vital to protecting your home from frozen pipes. But even the most careful homeowners can find themselves in a bind in the frigid temperatures DFW can experience.
The skilled team at Legacy Plumbing can tackle your frozen burst pipe repair needs properly and efficiently. Call today if you’re dealing with a plumbing leak in Frisco, Richardson, or Little Elm.