Unexpected cold snaps or deep freezes are the main reason for bursting pipes. Frozen water pipes are a serious risk during cold winters. Frozen water in a pipe can expand and can exert pressure over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of pressure can rupture any pipe that is filled with water, as after a point there will be no place for the ice to expand. Bursting of pipes can lead to excessive water spillage and this can lead to severe damage to your home. If the pipe is frozen not burst then you will have to thaw it.
Preparation for the thawing
The first indicator of a frozen pipe is no water coming from the faucet. If you are dealing with frozen pipes, then immediate action is the need of the hour. The first thing that you need to do is immediately shut off the main water valve. After that, open the faucet that is supplied by the frozen pipe. Keep following the pipe from the faucet to where it runs through. The frozen part of the pipe will always have frost on it. In worst cases, it might also have certain bulge or the pipe might look disfigured.
Dealing with frozen pipe behind the wall
If the frozen pipe is behind the wall, then there are three things that you can do;
- Turn up the heat of the house and wait.
- Tear the wall out or ceiling and then thaw the naked pipe.
- Use an infrared lamp to assist the heating of the pipe. An infrared lamp can assist you to get the heat through the wall and heat the pipe. It will direct more energy to the wall instead of the air, heating the wall in the process and hence heating the freezing pipe.
Thawing frozen pipe
There are several options to deal with an exposed frozen pipe, but you should be careful. When working on thawing the pipe, leave the main water valve open. Always heat the pipe from the faucet toward the frozen area. What this will do is help the water flow out as the ice melts. This will also ease the water pressure in the pipe and will force the ice out once it melts sufficiently.
Use hair Dryer
Using the hair dryer is one of the safest ways to deal with a frozen pipe. Heat the frozen area with a high power hair dryer. While doing so, open the faucet and heat the pipe working back from the faucet towards the frozen part.
Use heat lamp
A heat lamp can get the job done if you are dealing with an exposed pipe. For heating purposes, you can use infrared or incandescent heat lamp. You can use an infrared or incandescent heat lamp. If the pipe is close to the wall, use a cookie sheet behind the pipe. This will help you reflect heat onto the pipe.
Small Portable Heater
The small powerful heaters are great when warming pipes under a kitchen or vanity base cabinet. Direct the heater onto the frozen section of pipe. It will work its magic in no time.
Electric Pipe Heat Cable
Using electric pipe heat cable is another good way of unfreezing your pipe. The electric pipe heat cable consists of heating elements which will heat anything that you wrap it around. You can control the temperature using a thermostat. It can also be used as a preventive measure. You can do this by leaving the heat cable on the pipe, plug it in when needed and it will prevent pipe freezing in the future.
Dealing with a freezing pipe is a pain and it is something that you must get to immediately. Delaying the problem will only cause it to become worse. If are dealing with a frozen pipe and don’t know what to do about it, then get in touch with Pro Plumbing. We will surely get back to you in no time.