In a frigid climate like ours, we have all already faced a time when our frozen pipes have led to a frantic call to the plumber. Let us look at a few ways to avoid it this year and find fixes we can exercise ourselves.
A frozen pipe can lead to a burst pipe if not looked into and that is even worse than having a frozen pipe. So keep the following tips in mind to avoid a bigger disaster than the one that is possibly at hand already.
Why do frozen pipes burst?
Firstly is it important to know that all frozen pipes lead to bursting. The reason some pipes burst is because water expands when frozen and it adds a lot of pressure on the unprepared pipes. A small crack can then burst open the pipe and flood your home with water at a great pressure.
There is some relief in knowing that damage from a burst pipe is a very common home insurance claim, you are not the only one.
How do you identify a frozen pipe?
Imagine a just fed python minus the possible prey that is rotting inside it. A frozen pipe has a bulge similar to that but some pipes do not visibly show it.
A good sign to tell if your pipes are frozen is if your faucets don’t have flowing water and your toilet tank isn’t refilling.
Ok, so how do you then thaw a frozen pipe?
Start by first shutting off the water supply to that section or maybe to all the sections to be safe. Because the frozen water is solid, it acts like a plug so you do not want it to burst into your home once thawed. But that water needs place to liquefy so be ready with mops and other absorbents at your faucets in case of a leak.
Use a heat lamp, hair dryer or a space heater to thaw a frozen pipe. Thermostatically controlled heat tapes are also available for smaller trouble spots.
It is best to stick to these as they are safer and do not risk a fire. Keep your plumber aware or to save the fear of risks, just call the plumber to do it for you.