During the cold, wintery months the temperature in some areas can drop low for long periods of time causing pipes to freeze and sometimes burst. When water in the pipes freezes it expands and blocks the line. This can cause increased pressure in the system and cause major problems. A pipe with even a very small crack can allow over 250 gallons of water a day to escape. These types of situations can cause extensive property damage, disrupt a business and cause very high repair costs. There are ways to prevent frozen pipes and the damage they can cause.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
There are several practical tips that can help prevent pipes from freezing. Follow these prevention tips to save yourself from needing extensive plumbing work.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow some heat in
- Turn the water on so it can trickle throughout the night
- Insulate pipes in areas which are unheated or uninsulated
- Apply heat tape to exposed pipes
- Keep heat set on at least 55 degrees
What happens if you already have frozen pipes?
In the harshest winter there can be some times when pipes freeze no matter how much you try to prevent it. In these cases it is necessary to call a licensed plumber for repairs and even inspection to ensure there are no pin hole leaks as a result. Here are some things you can do if your pipes do freeze:
- Shut off the main water lead to the building
- Use a hair dryer to thaw an ice blockage in an exposed pipe
- If a frozen pipe is not visible contact Mitchelle Associates Inc., for professional pip-thawing equipment
How do you know if you have frozen pipes?
When a pipe has frozen water inside, but it has not swelled up or burst, there are still some ways to tell that it is frozen inside. It is important to catch it as soon as possible to prevent as much damage as possible. If the temperatures have been very low, especially for several days in a row, and your water flow slows way down, it is likely that the pipes are trying to freeze. As soon as you notice reduced water flow, call a plumber who can help resolve the issue before damage occurs.