Archive for January, 2018

How to Thaw Out Frozen Water Pipes

Thaw Out Frozen Water PipesThe recent cold weather vortex that has descended on Canada and the United States has caused many home owners to deal with frozen pipes. Once a pipe freezes, there is no water for even basic necessities, especially if it is the pipe near the entry point to your home. If you are lucky the pipe will thaw at some point and the water will flow once again without any leaks. At the very worst you have a serious water leak and if the water is not shut off immediately, major flooding and damage in your home. Home owners can take precautions to avoid frozen water pipes. Once you have a frozen water pipe, the question remains about how to thaw out frozen water pipes.

How to Thaw Out Frozen Water Pipes

Whatever you do, do not use a blow torch. There is tremendous danger in starting a fire which can quickly get out of control and actually burn your house down. Every year there are stories in the news of someone doing just that. You home owner’s insurance may not cover this kind of catastrophe which would be huge.

Avoiding a frozen pipe in the first place is obviously the way to go, however we will cover that later in this post.

First if your pipes are frozen, i.e. there is no water flowing you need to take action immediately. If you can quickly identify the area where the pipes are frozen, turn up the heat in the area immediately to thaw out frozen water pipes. Install a portable heater in the area as well. It may take a few hours, but the pipes will eventually thaw. If there is a specific area and you can get to it, sometimes a hair blower will help to thaw the pipe.

Check for any obvious areas like the one in the picture. A leak like this one can quickly cause a great deal of water damage. In addition to warming up the room, shut the main water pipes off and then cut out the area and repair it. You may need to call a plumber to make these repairs.

It is much more difficult to thaw out frozen water pipes inside walls are much more difficult. Any pipe that is on an outside wall is a candidate for being frozen in very cold weather. With insufficient insulation and a cold interior room these pipes can quickly freeze and crack the pipe. Look for signs of water damage and then open up the wall where the pipes are. You will have to repair drywall etc. however finding the leak is of paramount importance. Keep the rooms that have water pipes in outside walls warm to help thaw the pipes. Again a plumber may be needed to make repairs.

Check with your home insurance company to find out what coverage you may be eligible for.

Avoiding Frozen Water Pipes

If a cold snap is imminent and your concerned about pipes freezing, turn up the heat in those rooms with water pipes on outside walls. You will spend more energy heating the rooms, but this is minimal compared to dealing with the damage from leaking water pipes etc.

Anytime a wall is opened up either move the water pipe to an inside wall or make sure that it is adequately insulated for the most extreme temperatures you will experience in your area. Keep your furnace running to keep these rooms warm.

Many frozen water pipe situations occur when furnaces fail or the electricity is out for an extended period. If your going to be away from your home for more than a few days, shut the main water valve off to avoid any water leaks while you are not there. Have someone check your home every few days to make sure the furnace is running and your home is heated. They should also know what action you would want the to take if there is no heat in your home. i.e. call a furnace repairman, plumber etc.


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Reasons Why a House is Cool in Winter With the Furnace Running all of the Time

Reasons Why a House is Cool in Winter With the Furnace Running all of the TimeThere can be a number of reasons why a house is cool in winter with the furnace running all of the time. The fundamental reason it is running more often is that it cannot meet the needs of your home to heat it properly. It can be due to a furnace not sized properly. In other words, it was sized too small for the home. Furnace suppliers typically will assess your home based on square footage and whether it is a two story home or a single story home.  They assume that it has standard insulation and will install a furnace that meets these requirements. The furnace provider can actually make a mistake and size it to small for the home in an effort to save money for the consumer, however they know this will be a problem later on and seldom take this approach.

Other Reasons Why a House is Cool in Winter With the Furnace Running all of the Time

A poorly insulated home will leak heat like a sieve. Poor insulation in the ceiling and the walls means that you are losing a lot of heat that the furnace must replace. The colder it is outside, the more heat that is lost and the furnace must run more often.

The same applies to your windows. Fifty years ago single pane windows were popular. Later on companies added double pane windows to improve the insulating value of these windows. They then added argon between the windows which is an inert gas that conducts heat much less than even normal air. Well insulated homes have these types of windows and sometimes even triple pane windows. Also insulation around the windows is much better and more thoroughly installed.

Doors also allow the heat to escape. If your door does not meet proper standards in terms of heat loss then you could be losing a great deal of heat this way as well. Make sure there is also adequate weather stripping around the doors to prevent heat loss.

These are the main areas to look at to prevent heat loss, reduce your furnaces running time and save you money which is what this web site is all about.

Consumers can also insulate outlets that are on walls that face the eternal part of your home. Typically, there is no insulation behind these outlets. Keep your windows closed. Your furnace has a fresh air intake. Have your home tested for tightness? This involves pressurizing your home and examining where air can escape. Plugging these areas will also help to reduce the heat loss. Some governments will help pay for these services to promote energy reduction.

For more information about Reasons Why a House is Cool in Winter With the Furnace Running all of the Time and ways to save money click here.


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