Frozen Water Pipes
Beware the unexpected cold snap or a deep freeze. Frozen water pipes are a serious risk during very cold winter weather. When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture most any pipe filled with water which provides no place for the ice to expand.
When the pipe bursts it will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, and that equates to thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Sad when you consider how easy it is to prevent a frozen water pipe.
Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when located:
- In an outside wall
- Under a sink on an outside wall
- In an unheated crawlspace
- Pear and beam homes are more at risk than homes on a slab
Frozen But Not Burst? Then It’s Time to Thaw!
In the situation where your pipe is frozen but not yet ruptured, you need to promptly thaw it out. There are a few thawing techniques we’ll review depending on where the frozen pipe is located.
Identify if your pipes are frozen
When pipes are frozen you turn the faucet on and no water comes out or comes out in a trickle. As soon as you realize a pipe is frozen you need to take immediate action.
- Open the faucet supplied by the frozen pipe even if you do not yet know where it is frozen.
- Find the frozen water supply pipe and find the location of the blockage.
- Follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas such as an exterior wall, unheated crawl space or in some cases an unheated basement if the pipe is near an outside wall.
- Often the frozen area of the pipe will be frosted or have ice on it. If the situation is getting critical the pipe may be slightly bulged or look slightly fissured.
- Turn off the water
Duncan Plumbing Solutions in Waxahachie can help you with frozen pipes and water main breaks as well as winterizing your home’s plumbing system.
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