Hanahan Plumbing Co.

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Serving Hanahan, SC and the surrounding area

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Freeze Protection Tips From Hanahan Plumbing Co.

It doesn’t freeze very often in the Charleston, SC area often. But when it does, your plumbing system can be damaged.

We recommend doing a few things to help save yourself from costly repairs due to freeze damage to your plumbing components.

Our recommendations to help avoid freeze damage.

The most effective way to prevent freeze damage is to have water moving through your pipes and equipment. The best recommendation we can give is to stream 1 or more faucets in your home. From our experience with frozen pipes – PIPE INSULATION DOES NOT HELP. Without a steady flow of water, insulated pipes freeze as easily as non insulated pipes.

Please remember to stream hot and cold water to avoid damage to hot water lines and external water heaters.

Hanahan Plumbing Co recommends streaming hot and cold water to protect your outdoor water heater from freeze damage.

External Water Heaters

Stream your hot and cold water at 1 or more faucets inside your home. A slow stream (just stronger than a drip) will not cause your tankless water heater to turn on but it will keep water flowing through it.

We’re not meteorologists but wind chill is a serious consideration when you have external plumbing components. Wind chill can cause an external pipe, water heater or hose bib to freeze much quicker than piping in a crawl space or attic because most attics and crawl spaces are protected from wind.

Hanahan Plumbing Co recommends streaming hot and cold water to protect your water heater from freeze damage.

Water Heaters in Garages and Attics

Stream your hot and cold water at 1 or more faucets inside your home. A slow stream (just stronger than a drip) will not cause your tankless water heater to turn on but it will keep water flowing through it.

Attics are not insulated to protect piping and equipment. Attic insulation is designed to keep heat in the living space below.

While garages may be insulated we have yet to see a garage tied into your HVAC system which means a water heater and its piping and can freeze in your garage.

Hanahan Plumbing Co recommends installing frost proof hose bibs to avoid freeze damage.

Hose Bibs

Hose bibs are perhaps the hardest item to protect from freezing. Typically when we get a call for frozen pipes, the problem starts at the hose bib and spreads to ther piping. 

You can buy a hose bib cover to keep the wind off of the hose bib which can help in short periods of freezing weather. 

If the temperatures will remain freezing for a long period of time we recommend streaming water from your hose bib, especially if you have copper piping in your crawl space. It’s also important to note that pipes will freeze more quickly at 18℉ than 32℉. Just make sure it won’t run to an area that will make a highly traveled walking area unsafe.

Our best advice, especially if you have a crawl space home, is to install frost proof hose bibs. You may still want to stream water from a frost proof hose bib to protect you supply piping in the crawl space if temperatures will be below freezing for a long period of time. 

Hanahan Plumbing Co recommends streaming hot and cold water through a faucet to protect the exposed piping in your crawl space.

Exposed, Crawl Space and Attic Piping

Stream your hot and cold water at 1 or more faucets inside your home. A slow stream (just stronger than a drip). Pipes in crawl spaces and attics will freeze. Pipe insulation will not prevent freeze damage.

The longer and harder the freeze – the more faucets you should stream. And just because the sun comes up doesn’t mean it’s safe to stop streaming your faucets. My general rule is once the outdoor temperature reaches 36℉ (taking into account the wind chill), I’ll stop streaming my faucets.

Hanahan Plumbing Co recommends a freeze protection valve on your backflow prevention assembly.

Backflow Prevention Assemblies

Backflow prevention assemblies are most commonly made of brass with copper piping, which will freeze and crack easily. We recommend installing a Freeze Protection Valve on your backflow prevention assembly. Freeze Protection Valves open when temperatures reach the freezing point and discharge water just like dripping and streaming a faucet.

We don’t recommend insulation bags because they will not prevent freeze damage (they don’t allow water to flow and they don’t create heat. The only way to prevent freeze damage is through heat and flow. Flowing water will not freeze (streaming TC4 works). We have also seen heat coils wrapped around pipes and backflow prevention assemblies. 

If you don’t have a freeze protection valve installed on TC4, we recommend streaming water from TC4. This will keep water moving through the backflow prevention assembly. You should also turn off the number 2 shut off valve (downstream shut off) and drain your irrigation system. Again, ice will form wherever the stream of water sprays to so make sure you don’t create a slippery fall hazard on a walkway.

How To Stream A Faucet

Some people say to “drip” your faucets. At Hanahan Plumbing Co we recommend “streaming” your faucets. A stream is a very small amount of water coming through your faucet, slightly stronger than a drip. This continuous stream will not cause your tankless water heater to begin heating but it will keep water moving through the unit, protecting it from any possible freeze damage.

Bottom line, I’ll pay $5 any day to avoid spending $100s or $1,000s in plumbig repair costs! So don’t be scared to stream your faucets. And keep streaming until the freezing temperatures are gone (just because the sun comes up, doesn’t mean the temperatures in your crawl space are above freezing).

Thanks For Visiting!

We hope you’ve found our freeze protection information helpful. We hope it will save you some money. Plumbers make very good money fixing frozen pipes. But honestly, we’d prefer that you to save your money because we don’t like fixing pipes in the freezing cold! 

Why Choose Hanahan Plumbing Co.?

Always Available

Hanahan Plumbing Co. is available 24/7 to provide emergency plumbing and gas service to our Loyalty Customers.

Local

When you need a local plumber give us a call. We are family owned and lifelong Lowcountry residents serving Hanahan, SC and the surrounding area.

Licensed

Licensed plumbing, electrical and gas contractor (M115194). We also maintain GL and WC insurance.

Experienced

Our family and staff have been serving Hanahan, SC and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Hanahan Plumbing Co. knows plumbing and gas.

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843-793-1473

1287 Yeamans Hall Rd.
Hanahan, SC 29410

Service Area:

Hanahan, SC & The Surrounding Lowcountry Area

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