Frozen water pipes are a common cause of leaks and severe water damage. Fortunately, homeowners can prevent the leading causes of burst pipes and act quickly to warm frozen pipes before they burst.
Tip 1: Know the Signs of a Frozen Pipe
The best way to discover frozen water pipes is to uncover signs of pipes freezing. If your pipes are in an unheated environment, are cold to the touch, and have frost outside, they might be at risk of bursting. If you catch them quickly, you can keep your pipes from bursting.
Ice in your pipes could cause an ice dam to block water flow. Frozen water supply lines will cause a loss of water pressure to faucets that connect to that pipe and backups for drain lines.
Tip 2: Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
When the weather turns cold, run a trickle of water through the metal or plastic pipes to prevent them from getting cold enough to freeze. Pay attention to the pipes against exterior walls, in crawl spaces, or connected to the outside, such as pipes leading to the garden hose spigot. If they are getting cold, add pipe insulation and open cabinets, if possible, to expose them to heated air from your home.
Tip 3: Thaw Frozen Pipes
The best way to thaw frozen pipes is to call a plumber. An experienced plumber can use specialized equipment to thaw a frozen pipe safely, prevent pipes from freezing, and detect leaks before they produce signs that a typical homeowner could detect.
In an emergency, if you can identify the frozen section of the pipe, you can use an electric heating pad or hair dryer to apply heat to the pipe. Be careful not to let condensation from the pipe contact the heating device to avoid the risk of electric shock.
Tip 3: Use a Heating Implement or Space Heater Safely
You can use a portable space heater to warm exposed pipes or freezing pipes. If you thaw a pipe along an exterior wall, in a cabinet, or in a crawlspace, be mindful of flammable building materials that could catch fire even in cold weather if they contact a heating element.
Tip 4: Prevent Frozen Pipes From Bursting
As water turns to ice in freezing temperatures, it expands, pressing outward on the pipe walls. Frozen pipes burst when the pipe materials can no longer withstand the pressure.
If a water supply pipe is at risk of bursting, shut off the water supply to that pipe immediately and turn on the faucets from the frozen pipe.
Tip 5: Minimize Damage from a Burst Pipe
If a pipe bursts, call an emergency plumber to repair the pipe and address the root cause of the pipe freezing. You might also need to call in a water damage restoration expert. Document any damage and any plumbing or restoration services for your insurance company.
Let Roto-Rooter TN Handle Your Frozen Pipes
Protect your home from the catastrophic damage wrought when a pipe freezes. For professional emergency plumbing service, call Roto-Rooter TN at (731) 213-3611 Jackson, TN,e or (931) 330-2060 Columbia, TN.