Plumbers in Mississauga, or any other region experiencing harsh winters, can offer their clients some educated advice on avoiding frozen pipes. Some recommendations include draining hose lanterns and removing garden hoses before temperatures drop, or using heat tape or some other type of insulation on outer pipes and those that are accessible but in sensitive areas that are directly exposed to the cold are. Many also emphasize the importance of leaving a heat source on even when no one is home (at least no less than 12 ° C) and having a tap dripping. Nonetheless, the professionals are ready to help with disaster prevention and deal with mishaps when they occur.
In this part of Canada, some homeowners often seek help to prevent pipes from freezing. This is understandable when you consider that the temperatures from November to the beginning of March are between 2 ° C and 4.4 ° C and drop to -5 ° C in December. And these are just the average daily highs. At night, when temperatures drop even lower, frozen pipes are a major concern.
A plumber in Mississauga might advise you prevention is a lot easier than repairing plumbing or even structural damage. The most important advice is to winterize all outdoor water systems. At the beginning, the garden hoses must be emptied, removed and stored as mentioned. All internal valves supplying the external tube bibs must be closed, and the bibs themselves must be opened for thorough emptying. However, a more effective preventative measure that any Mississauga plumber would recommend is to install a frost-proof sill tap. Since the washing machine falls below the freezing point, the homeowner never has to worry about draining the bib.
Homeowners can also enlist the help of a plumber to route pipes that are more exposed to the elements outdoors – although this option is expensive. Another idea is to take heating cables and tie them with cable ties. This technique proves to be effective and inexpensive. To increase protection, attaching a heating cable with a temperature sensor that detects the temperature drop will also protect against freezing.
In addition to the measures already mentioned, the insulation of pipes that are located in endangered areas of the property is one of the most important and cost-effective solutions for homeowners. While some people feel confident installing the insulation themselves, others may turn to a plumber in Mississauga to make sure the job is done properly.
Indeed, a tour of the property with the owner helps a lot in pinpointing the problem areas. If the owner doesn’t know, sometimes it makes sense to point out these areas when it comes to creating a prevention plan. Areas that require the most attention include attics and basements, exterior walls, machine rooms, any storage building without heating, and floor voids located above crawl spaces.
When it comes to the insulation itself, the choice of the ideal material depends on the location of the pipes, as well as the length, width and type of material. PVC pipe, for example, does not freeze as quickly as copper or steel, and for this type of insulation tape made of foam and foil may be sufficient. On the other hand, a polyethylene foam hose, such as Armacell’s Tundra hose, is a better option for protecting both PVC and metal pipes from the cold.
When looking for insulation for pipes that are located inside the outer walls, especially for subsequent applications, self-sealing, closed-cell foam insulation proves to be effective. In addition, the self-adhesive film ensures faster and easier installation.
For outdoor applications, however, the frequent use of fiberglass insulation has been replaced by more durable, weather-resistant options such as Armaflex spiral pipe insulation. Its strong outer coating withstands both UV radiation and freezing temperatures. Nevertheless, professionals cannot completely rule out fiberglass pipe coating as a coating layer that offers additional protection for outdoor pipes. Another popular choice is tubular rubber insulation with or without self-adhesive. One reason this type of material works so well is that plumbers can safely install it using heating cables or heating tape.
That said, plumbers in Mississauga will inevitably receive some 911 calls as temperatures drop and pipes freeze. Until help arrives and the pipe is accessible, plumbers may advise their customers to put a heating pad on the frozen area. Other methods of applying direct heat include using a hair dryer on the spot or placing a space heater directly across from it. If the pipe area is inaccessible or the homeowner does not know exactly where the frozen spot is, it is best to shut off the main water source until the plumber arrives.
As for the best tool for thawing frozen pipes, a pipe thawing machine turns out to be the fastest and most efficient. This type of device is also one of the safest alternatives to the blowtorch and heat gun. In one example, the Artic Blaster Pipe Thawing System, the main box can hold two gallons of water, which can easily be converted to steam using a propane burner to heat the water. The long pipe that the steam exits is inserted into the pipe and the hot steam goes to work. Depending on the width and length of the pipe, thawing can take between 4 and 10 minutes. Another benefit is that this machine is portable and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Another pipe defrosting set, the KT-190 from Rigid, is almost like a battery charger. However, the two cables with terminals on the end emit a small amount of AC voltage to get the job done quickly.
While this winter presents some frozen pipe challenges, with preventative measures, the right materials and equipment, installers will be ready to overcome the obstacles and meet their customers’ needs.
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