Plumbers worry about their customers and want to ensure they understand that pipes can definitely freeze in Texas. Here are some easy to follow steps to help provide preparedness and protection.
You can’t argue with physics, and the simple fact of the plumbing world and home ownership is that if the temperature gets cold enough for a long enough period of time, anything will freeze. And even in Texas, that means that there are going to be nights when your home’s pipes are at risk of freezing and possibly bursting.
As a general rule – though by no means a guarantee – it takes about six hours of freezing or below temperatures for pipes to be affected. That number can change though if the pipes are facing a north wind that increases the impact of low temperatures in a big way.
A great preventative step to protect those pipes is to take extra measures to keep them warm. In some cold weather states, heat tape is the recommended move, but here in Texas, some commercially available outdoor covers will do the job well enough. For the minimal freezing nights we get down here in Texas, it is alright that there’s no R-value on those covers like there is on insulation to tell you how much protection they can provide.
Another easy preventative step is one that should come with fall weather; performing a check to make sure the home’s heating system and thermostat is functioning properly. After all, think about how unpleasant it would be to walk into a chilly house and find out there’s no way to warm things up quickly (or without an asking-for-trouble option like cranking up the oven and leaving the door open).
Some steps to take inside the home are remembering to open up cabinets that have pipes in them and keep the heat running. Doing that makes sure that pipes hidden away under cupboards get exposed to as much warm indoor air as possible, which is the best combatant possible against the freezing temperatures outside. And on nights when you know the temperatures will be below freezing, it’s advisable to set some of the faucets in the home to a slow drip so that water keeps moving through the system and has less chance to freeze.
Following these simple steps can help you avoid frozen pipes and an emergency call to an Leander plumber.