How Frozen Pipes Burst
Frozen pipe bursts are something that everyone that lives in areas that can freeze, should worry about. Winter is just around the corner and a frozen pipe is not the kind of thing you want to be spending your Christmas money on. Pipes will freeze if not properly taken care of at below freezing temperatures and once that happens, it can cause them to burst wide open. One thing that you really need to be aware of is how cold it is outside and how cold it will drop overnight. This is going to be the key to making sure that your pipes don’t freeze. So what temperature do pipes freeze? Like mentioned above, when temperatures begin to drop below freezing, your pipes will be affected and can end up freezing the water that flows inside of them, causing it to freeze, expand, and cause a pipe burst. Once the pipe does freeze, you may be wondering, can frozen pipes thaw on their own? If the cold weather subsides, yes, the frozen pipes can defrost, but the damage is already done. The problem cannot be fixed as easily when everything is still frozen though. It is really important to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for brutal winters. Even the slightest drop below freezing can do damage so you will need to make sure that before it gets to that point, that you have your winter plumbing maintenance done ahead of time. This will allow you to ask questions to a professional plumber and make sure that your system is ready to roll. The plumber will be able to tell you all of the proper ways to prepare for the winter ahead and avoid an expensive mistakes from happening when the weather takes a dip.
Prevent Pipes From Freezing
Where your pipes are located makes a big difference. When you have pipes that are outside or in uninsulated areas, they are more prone to freezing than those with insulation around them. You may be all about saving money by turning your heat off and limiting water, but when temperatures enter the 20-degree zone, there is not time to worry about limiting your resources. Things like water and heat will be what saves your home during the freezing times of the year. So, how do I make sure my pipes don’t freeze? Check out a list of simple ways to keep your pipes from bursting, below.
Water Run – Let your water drip from the faucet on cold so that water is constantly running through your pipes. It doesn’t have to be much, but a little bit can make a huge difference. If you do end up with frozen pipes in house, you will want to call your plumber right away turn off your water to your home and turn on the heat in your home.
Open Cabinets – You should open up all of your cabinets and let the heat from your home run through them. Pipes run through your walls behind cabinets and can feel the heat from your home if they are open. If you plan to leave for the winter or even a few days, you should keep your cabinets open the entire time to help the air circulate your home. Before you head out during the winter, make sure that your heater maintenance is up to date. There is nothing worse than coming back from a trip to find a broken heater in the dead of winter, followed by a frozen pipe.
Close Garage – It’s obviously freezing outside so keeping your garage closed is a great way to make sure that you are not letting any extra cold air in.
How do you tell if your pipes are frozen?
If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, you can do several things. You can call a plumber right away and have them come do an inspection to make sure that your pipes are able to get cleared out properly, or you could do it yourself. Now you are probably thinking, how do I drain my pipes for winter? You may want to do that in the beginning to avoid all of this nonsense from the start, but if you like the thrill of knowing if this will be the year your pipes freeze, here’s how you will know if the deed has been done. If you go to turn on your water and nothing comes out, that’s usually the tell-tale sign that something has happened. If it is in a freezing zone outside you can probably take a guess and say that they have frozen. Now just because your pipes have frozen does not mean that they have burst. That is something you will see once the water defrosts. If this has occurred, you will want to turn off your main water valve and call a plumber. If you still see a small amount of water coming through your faucet, let your water drip out, turn your heater on and do not let any additional cold air into that area.
Frozen Pipes Symptoms
We have covered what to do when you have frozen pipes, but do you know what you are looking for? Sometimes it’s not what you are looking for, it’s what you smell and see as well. Frozen pipes can look and smell different than normal pipes so you will need to know what to look for in case this happens to you. You should start to pay attention to your pipes when the weather drops into the freezing zone: between 32 degrees and below.
Smell – This may seem like a strange symptom of something frozen, but if your drain begins to smell funny (and not in a good way), it may be because something in your drain is blocked. If the drain has become frozen, whatever was down there, is stuck there causing the odor to have nowhere to go but up and out your drain.
Frost – If you have exposed pipes like the ones under your kitchen sink or even in your garage, take a look at them. Frozen pipes will develop a frost on top of them that is a distinct indicator that your pipes are frozen.
No Water – If you turn your sink on and nothing comes out or just a trickle of water comes out, it is likely that the water has become frozen inside your pipes.
It is important that once you realize that a pipe is frozen, that you act as fast as possible to get it defrosted. If you don’t, the pipe will burst and you will have a serious and expensive problem on your hands. If the pipe is close to you like under a sink or just behind a wall, you can turn your heater up and grab a blow dryer. The best thing you can do is to make sure that the frozen pipe gets hot as quickly as possible. If you need attention right away or just want help getting this done, call a professional plumber at JustUs Plumbing. They will be able to help you as quickly as possible so that you don’t get stuck with a burst pipe. When you have frozen pipes in Round Rock, TX, call us at (512) 643-7116 and we will always be there for you.