Frozen Pipes: What You Need To Know

In winter months, a common problem that homeowners face is frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can cause significant damage to a home and cost thousands of dollars in repairs. Knowing what to do when it happens is key for protecting a home from the costly effects of frozen pipes. This article will help readers understand the causes and effects of frozen pipes, as well as how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

When water within a pipe freezes, its volume increases by nearly 10%. This expansion can easily cause the pipe to break or crack, allowing water to escape and potentially flooding the surrounding area with water. Additionally, frozen pipes can lead to low water pressure due to blockage or decreased flow rate caused by ice buildup inside the pipe. Furthermore, this buildup can lead to corrosion over time if not addressed properly.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent frozen pipes before they happen. Insulating exposed pipes with foam insulation or using heat tape are both effective methods for keeping temperatures well above freezing even during extreme cold weather. Additionally, leaving cabinet doors open allows warm air from the home’s heater to circulate around plumbing fixtures located underneath sinks and in other enclosed areas of the house. Taking these steps will help protect a home from costly repairs and damages associated with frozen pipes.

Causes Of Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can be a major issue in colder climates. It is estimated that around 10 million households are affected by frozen pipes each winter. This can have significant consequences, resulting in costly repairs and other problems. Understanding the causes of frozen pipes is important in order to prevent them from happening.

Cold temperatures are the most common cause of frozen pipes. When the temperature outside drops below 32°F (or 0°C) for an extended period of time, it can lead to freezing temperatures inside a home or business as well. Inadequate insulation of pipes, or those located in unheated areas such as crawlspaces and attics, are particularly susceptible to freezing. Poorly heated spaces and drafts from windows or doors can also cause pipe freezing.

Another common cause of frozen pipes is poor maintenance. Clogged drains can cause water to back up and freeze inside pipes, while sediment buildup can reduce water flow and increase the chances of freezing. Additionally, failing to shut off outdoor hoses during cold weather can result in freezing pipes due to water that remains inside the hose during winter months. Knowing these potential causes can help homeowners better prepare their homes against potential frozen pipe issues before they arise.

Prevention Tips

Subsequent to understanding the causes of frozen pipes, it is important to know how to prevent them. Taking steps ahead of time can save both time and money in the long run. The first step in preventing frozen pipes is to ensure that they are well insulated. This includes any exposed water lines, such as those located in an attic or basement. Additionally, there should be insulation around the lines leading into and out of the home. If there is a crawl space under the house, it is recommended that it also be insulated.

The second step for prevention is to keep indoor temperatures at a consistent level during cold months. Even if the home is vacant for several days or weeks, it should still be kept warm enough to prevent freezing temperatures from affecting any of the pipes within the walls or floors.

Finally, an efficient way to reduce the chances of frozen pipes is by disconnecting all exterior hoses before winter arrives and sealing off any areas where cold air could enter through a pipe opening. Keeping these preventive measures in mind will help people stay prepared for colder weather conditions and decrease their risk of dealing with a broken pipe emergency later on.

Signs Of Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a common issue during the winter season. Identifying the signs of frozen pipes can help prevent further damage to your home and belongings. Here are three key indicators that your pipes may be frozen:

The first sign is a decrease in water pressure, which means the flow of water from your faucets is almost non-existent. If you notice this, it could be an indication that one or more of your pipes have become blocked by ice.

The second sign is a sudden increase in your monthly water bill. This could mean that a pipe leading to one of your fixtures has burst due to ice expansion. In addition, if you notice any wet spots on walls or floors near plumbing lines, this could also indicate that there’s been a leak caused by frozen pipes.

Finally, it’s important to keep an eye out for discolored water coming from faucets or shower heads. If you see this, it might be due to corrosion in the pipes caused by long-term freezing temperatures. Taking action quickly can help avoid serious damage to your property and save you time and money in repairs down the road.

How To Thaw Out Frozen Pipes

When frozen pipes are identified, it is important to thaw them out quickly and safely. The most effective method for thawing frozen pipes depends on the situation and the accessibility of the pipes. If the frozen pipe is visible, then a space heater, hair dryer, or heat lamp can be used to warm up the area around the pipe. It is important to ensure that these heating devices are not placed too close to any combustible materials such as wood or paper.

If a space heater or other device cannot be used because of inaccessibility, then hot water can be applied directly to the pipe. This should be done slowly and cautiously in order to avoid cracking or breaking the pipe with sudden changes in temperature. A cloth should also be placed between the hot water container and the pipe in order to prevent burns from occurring.

Once thawed, it is important that steps are taken to prevent future freezing of pipes in winter months. Insulating material should be wrapped around exposed sections of plumbing and any areas where cold air can enter should be sealed off. Checking for any leaks or cracks in plumbing will also help reduce chances of future freezing incidents taking place. Taking these preventative measures will help ensure peace of mind throughout winter months when temperatures drop drastically.

When To Call A Professional

Frigid temperatures can wreak havoc on plumbing, creating troublesome frozen pipes. Knowing when to call a professional is an important step in protecting one’s home and wallet. While some situations are easy to diagnose, others may require a professional’s expertise.

First, if the temperature is below freezing and there is no hot water available it could be due to frozen pipes. Additionally, if there are any signs of leaking or burst pipes then a professional should be called immediately. Leaks can cause extensive damage if not addressed promptly.

Second, if the temperature has been below freezing for more than a few hours and you notice reduced water pressure then it could indicate that the pipes have partially frozen and need attention. Low pressure can also be due to other problems such as clogged filters or valves but those issues can often be fixed without professional help.

Finally, if there are no visible signs of damage from either leaking or freezing but you suspect that something might not be working correctly then a qualified technician should be contacted. A trained expert is much better equipped to diagnose any underlying problems and provide solutions quickly and effectively. Experienced plumbers will also have access to specialized tools which may be needed in certain cases.

Contact City Of Lights Plumbing Co Today!

At City Of Lights Plumbing Co, we understand that plumbing issues can be a huge inconvenience and cause significant disruption to your daily life. Our plumbing contractors in Aurora, Illinois provide fast and reliable services for your home or business. Contact us for quality plumbing services today!