Although freezing cold weather in Southern California is uncommon, it has been known to happen. This kind of weather can damage pipes. Here are some things to look out for and some preventative measures.
Preventing Pipe Damage
When frozen water causes pressure build up between the ice blockage and the closed faucet, pipes can burst. Pipes located outside, in attics, and under the house are at higher risk. To prevent possible damage, cover exposed pipes with insulation. This can be purchased as a sleeve or you can simply wrap the pipes to slow down the transfer of heat.
Be sure to seal any holes and cracks you may see. Caulk the areas near pipes and around foundations. Safely preventing the cold air to reach these areas is the first line of defense.
If your area reaches freezing levels, keep your cabinet doors ajar where you have water pipes. This will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes and keep them from freezing.
The most common trick, used by people back East, is to leave your pipes at a slow drip. This will keep the connected pipes which are running through an unheated and unprotected area from freezing.
In addition to protecting your pipes, you want to protect yourself. If you suspect a pipe has burst, turn of the main and contact your plumber promptly. Do not try to force open a valve or bang on pipes to dislodge a chunk of ice. There will be pressure in the pipes. IF YOUR VALVE IS FROZEN AS WELL, CALL A PLUMBER IMMEDIATELY.
If your pipes do freeze, please DO NOT use torches to try to thaw the pipes. You may rub the pipes with warm, damp rags as this could perhaps thaw the parts of the line that are frozen.
In addition, do not run your sprinklers when it is particularly cold. This can cause ice to form in your driveway, on your sidewalk, and if it hits your car, ice-over your windshield. It can also damage your PVC sprinkler lines as they could perhaps crack if ice blockages form.
As always, Reckon & Reckon Plumbing, Inc. is here to serve you! If you need assistance with a frozen pipe, call us at 1-877-473-2566