Experiencing Frozen Pipes This Winter? Here's What You Need To Know

Posted on: 6 July 2015

During cold seasons such as winter, pipes tend to freeze. This can be caused by the cold water flowing through them, the cold temperature of the environment where the pipes are located, or both. This plumbing hazard can occur in any home so it's best to know what you need to do about it. Read on to learn how to detect frozen pipes and how to deal with the problem:

How to detect a frozen pipe:

First, you need to know how to tell your pipes are frozen. The common tell-tale signs are:

  • The pipes are frosted with ice. This is often a good indication that the pipes are frozen and water inside them are probably frozen is too.
  • The pipe is swollen – When water freezes, it tends to expand. If you find that sections of your pipes are swollen, it means the water inside is frozen.
  • There's minimal or no flow in your taps. If you turn on your taps and there's no water, or the flow is negligible, your pipes may be frozen.

What can happen if freezing pipes are not repaired?

  1. The consequences of not repairing frozen pipes are dire:
  2. For one, the water will turn into ice and clog your pipes. You therefore won't get water for use in your home.
  3. If unchecked, frozen pipes can burst due to the expanding frozen water. Alternatively, frozen pipes can burst due to the blockage caused by the frozen ice. This happens if the water is still running in your pipes.
  4. If your pipes do burst, your affected pipes will be damaged and your property will be destroyed by the ensuing flooding.

What to do if you have frozen pipes:

  • If you have frozen pipes in your home, first shut off the mains valve. This will keep cold water from outside from entering your pipes. It will also avoid adding pressure to your probably blocked pipes and causing a burst.
  • Turn up the heat in your home. This will help to safely start thawing your pipes. When the ice in the pipes is thawed, normal water flow will resume.
  • Call a plumber immediately. A plumber can locate all the frozen pipes in your home and safely thaw them out completely. Remember you may have frozen pipes in hard-to-reach areas like your crawl space or walling.

Remember, frozen pipes should be treated as an emergency. Seek help from a plumbing service immediately to avoid costly damage from burst pipes and flooding. To learn more, contact a company like The Plumbing Company with any questions you have.