Saying that winters in Wichita, Kansas, are chilly is quite an understatement. The typical Wichita winter is dry and cold with average temperatures falling between 25 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit, so freezes are common.
Plus, storms can bring quite a bit of extra ice and snow to the table, not to mention the inconveniences that come with them, frozen pipes included. Here’s what you need to know about preparing for the possibility of frozen pipes when the mercury plummets in Wichita.
Keeping Pipes from Freezing in Wichita
Quickly dropping temperatures are the most common cause of frozen pipes in the wintertime, but low thermostats, inadequate insulation, and other possibilities can be factors, too. Here are some preventative tips to keep in mind.
Stabilize your thermostat
Although keeping your thermostat as low as possible during the night or while you’re out of the house during the day may save you some money, it can contribute to the likelihood of frozen pipes. Instead, try keeping your thermostat settings constant, especially when icy cold is expected.
Facilitate a water trickle
Allowing your property’s warm water to trickle or drip throughout the night can often help stop your pipes from freezing during winter storms or bitter cold spells. For best results, try this using a faucet located near an outer wall.
Insulate your pipes
Exposed pipes are a lot more likely to freeze in the wintertime, especially in places like Wichita, so proper insulation is important. If you don’t already have pipe insulation installed in your attic, basement, and crawl spaces, consider contacting a professional who can rectify that for you.
Prep hoses and outdoor faucets
Before winter sets in (or at least before major storms are expected), consider properly seeing to any outdoor faucets or attachments. Use indoor valves to help drain any remaining water from pipes leading outside, and detach any hoses you may leave hooked up the rest of the year.
Try heat-wrapping your pipes
Many people find products like heat tape or heat wraps to be effective when it comes to keeping Wichita freezes at bay. Just be sure to use such products as intended, as some options are made for indoor versus outdoor pipes and vice versa.
Check for and seal leaks
Along the lines of keeping your pipes insulated enough, be sure to check your property often for air leaks, particularly near pipes, dryer vents, and other similar areas. Seal them thoroughly with caulk to help keep the cold outside where it belongs.
What to Do About Frozen Pipes in Wichita
Naturally, preventing frozen pipes in the first place is the desirable scenario. But it’s still a good idea to know what to do should they freeze anyway. (Sometimes frozen pipes actually burst, but not always.)
Shut off your water if necessary
If you know or suspect a pipe has burst (or could be leaking as a result of a freeze), turn your property’s water supply off at the main valve until you can get an emergency plumber out to check the situation. Make sure everyone in your household knows how to do this in case of emergency.
Consider safe heating options
It’s possible to try to thaw a frozen pipe yourself. However, it’s crucial to attempt this safely or not at all. A hairdryer can be effective, as long as there are no nearby flammable materials or standing water puddles to worry about.
Use the dryer to gently warm the pipe starting at the faucet end and working toward the colder portions. Never attempt to use any form of open flame to thaw pipes.
Contact an emergency plumber
If you’re concerned your pipes have frozen, and you’re unsure of what to do next, you can always get in touch with a good emergency Wichita plumber in your area. They’ll make short work of the situation and get your home back on track in no time.
If you need help prepping your Wichita home’s pipes against freezing or simply need a good local emergency plumber to keep on speed dial, Comfort Systems has you covered around the clock. Our experienced, friendly professionals are always ready, willing, and able to help!