How To Identify And Handle Frozen Pipes

24 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Frozen pipes can be incredibly frustrating, since they can cut off your flow of water, break your pipes, and lead to extensive water damage. Therefore, it's critical that you know how to identify and troubleshoot a frozen pipe. To help you out with that, here are some tips:

Frozen Pipes Warning Signs

To identify a frozen pipe, you first need to figure out the warning signs. If it's cold out and you don't have water flowing in certain parts of your home, then you are almost assuredly dealing with some frozen pipes. However, if it's a warm summer and you are having problems with your water, then your pipes are probably not directly frozen. That being said, water problems in summer can be traced back to freezing damage in winter. To be specific, ice can expand and damage your pipes, weakening your structure over a long period of time. This can then result in a failure of those pipes in summer, so even if your pipes are not currently frozen, your problems may be directly linked to freezing problems in the past.

Identifying Frozen Pipes

Figuring out whether a specific section of pipe is frozen will depend on just how much access you have to your plumbing. Some pipes will be easy to check, such as those beneath your sink or in your garage. Other areas are much more difficult and you would need to open up your walls in order to properly access them.

However, you can actually get a pretty good idea of the state of the pipes in the rest of your home by looking at the portions of pipe that you can access. By feeling these pipes, you should be able to get a good idea of just how much insulation they have. If your regular water pipes feel icy cold to the touch, then there is a good chance that you are dealing with ice problems somewhere in your pipes.

Fixing Frozen Pipes

Once you have determined that you do have frozen pipes, you want to fix the problem as quickly as possible, but before you do that, you want to prevent the frozen pipes from causing more damage.

To do that, you want to shut off water to the frozen pipes. Once the pipe thaws, all that water can flow out of any cracks that have developed in the pipe. The less water that there is trying to get through, the less you will need to clean up if your pipes are damaged.

Once you have done that, you want to apply heat to the pipe section in question. If your entire plumbing system seems to be affected, then you may need to resort to more extreme measures and hire a plumber to handle the situation. 

To learn more, contact a plumbing company like Absolute Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Services Inc