Frozen pipes are more than a winter nuisance. They’ll limit your water supply while frozen, then cause some serious leaks after thawing out. If a pipe bursts, it can be devastating and extremely expensive to clean up.
Prevent Frozen Pipes With a Temporary Heating Solution
If you have an ongoing construction project or are a business that has pipes that are at risk of freezing, it’s best to secure a temporary heater for the winter months. Even if you don’t think there’s an immediate risk, power outages, extreme cold, and HVAC maintenance can all cause big problems with little to no warning.
Stay prepared by renting a temporary heater for the winter months. Smaller units can be moved to the most at-risk spots to help distribute heat and ultimately prevent any freezing.
Businesses and construction sites should always have a heater ready for emergencies. A temporary loss of power or extreme drop in temperature could leave a business with big problems. Having a heater on-hand is a small price to pay when you consider the costs of remediating a burst pipe.
Don’t Forget About Sprinkler Systems!
If water can’t flow freely, then your fire protection sprinkler system could freeze up in cold temperatures. To make it worse, if you find yourself in a bad winter weather situation, the fire department will likely already have a delayed response time.
Which Pipes are Most Likely to Freeze?
Pipes can freeze when there is a quick drop in temperature, a thermostat is set too low, or the pipe has poor insulation. Some pipes are more likely to freeze than others, including pipes that are:
- Directly exposed to the cold, like sprinkler lines and swimming pool supply lines.
- Against exterior walls, as these spots lack insulation.
- In unheated areas, like a basement, storage area, garage or attic.
- Made of copper. Because copper is a conductor of energy, heat that travels through the pipes is quickly lost, making them more susceptible to freeze up than other materials.
- Old. Older pipes are more prone to freezing.
- Located in southern climates. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says these pipes are more likely to be in unprotected areas and those who live in these areas are also less aware of freezing problems.
Tips for Avoiding Frozen Pipes
There are several things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Make sure any pipes located in an outside wall are well-insulated. Also, be sure to close off any valves that provide water to outdoor spigots.
- Use an additional heater in the winter months to help distribute heat.
- Use piping insulation in any unheated areas such as attics, basements, garages, or crawl spaces.
- Stop any drafts from windows or vents.
- Leave a trickle of water running in all faucets in subfreezing temperatures.
- In a home or small business, keep your thermostat set to at least 55 degrees at all times. In bigger buildings, businesses should maintain a minimum temperature of 40 degrees in building areas with systems and structures susceptible to freezing, like wet-pipe sprinkler systems and fire pump houses.
- Open doors and cabinets to improve heat circulation near pipes.
What to Do If Pipes Are Already Frozen
If water doesn’t seem to be coming out of a pipe normally, assume it is frozen. Here are some tips to unfreeze the pipes before they crack and leak:
- If all pipes appear frozen, turn off the main water supply and call a plumber.
- If just one pipe is frozen, turn on the faucet to get water flowing once it thaws. Don’t turn the water supply off unless you suspect it has burst.
- Use a hairdryer to warm the pipe, starting at the faucet and working your way back along the pipeline. Continue warming until full water pressure has returned.
- If water starts to leak out of any pipe as you are warming it, close the nearest water shut-off valve and call a plumber to fix the broken pipe.
- If the burst pipe causes flooding, consider renting a dehumidifier for water damage restoration
Stay Ahead of an Emergency
Not sure if you need a temporary heater? Priority Rental, a Herc Rentals Business can help you figure that out! We offer a variety of temporary heating solutions with short and long-term rental options. Plus, we’ll deliver it right where you need it.