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HUD Articles

Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze!

January 16, 2024

Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze

By Tom Nelson, HUD LLB-Real Estate One-Rochester, MI

Buying a HUD Property Series January 2024

Winter is just around the corner and in much of the country this means temperatures below freezing.  With those cold temperatures comes snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice.  The cold weather can be a risk to plumbing.

Water is unlike most liquids, in that when it goes from a liquid to a solid form (when it freezes), it expands.  This can cause a number of problems for plumbing.  First in flex lines this can create a blockage that is hard to remove.  Since most flex lines expand, they won’t usually burst, but because they are of a plastic or rubber synthetic, they cannot tolerate heat without being destroyed. Unlike copper or galvanized plumbing which can be heated to clear a blockage of ice.  But Copper and galvanized plumbing have their own problems.

Because copper and galvanized pipes are rigid they cannot expand.  Consequently, when water freezes in galvanized and copper pipes and expands it burst the pipes which will have to be replaced.  There are a few solutions to preventing these problems.

First keep the temperature surrounding the plumbing above 40 degrees (water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit; 0 Celsius). A second option is to drain plumbing of water if it is not going to be used and is an area where it might freeze.  Also, there are devices that consist of an insulated wire that can be wrapped around the plumbing and plugged in that usually heats to about 45 degrees, enough to keep the pipes from freezing.  Finally if you know freezing temperatures will be exposed to your plumbing and you cannot use any of the other options, you can allow all the faucets to have a ‘fast drip’  this keeps water moving, as moving water needs a lower temperature to freeze and also the ground temperature that the water is sourced through is usually well above freezing.

Copyright Tom Nelson DASAT Properties, LLC 2024

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