You know how harsh the winter can be for us, our loved ones and even our pets. But unfortunately, the winter is something that does not only affect us living beings, as it also can definitely be hard on some of our nonliving things as well.
More than anything else extreme cold weather can affect the pipe lines in homes in a pretty negative way that has the potential to ruin our lifestyle quite unexpectedly. This is especially true when the water inside the pipes start to freeze.
Oh yes, and you know that the water inside pipes can freeze during certain periods of the year. Apart from water been blocked inside the pipes causing disruptions to the regular water consumption.
What you should really be worried about is continued building up of ice that could burst your pipes. Continuous formation of ice inside any pipe that transports water has a higher tendency of busting out due to the expansion of frost during winter.
You cannot predict or plan for frozen pipes always
Burst pipelines can cause us, homeowners a lot of heartaches that could last a very long time. But there is nothing much to do proactively when you are currently dealing with frozen pipes at the moment. And besides that, you cannot turn back what has happened.
But once this happens it’s important to know what to do when pipes freeze in order to minimize or maybe completely avoid a lot of potential financial loss for you. And besides thinking of avoiding it in the first place, this is something that takes place inside your pipes and therefore you cannot blame yourself too much for not seeing it coming either.
What are the things I can do when it has happened?
Although there are precautions you would have taken before the freezing process started. Such as draining the pipeline before leaving your house for a long period of time when left unheated, especially during the winter. But, let’s not talk about those things right now in detail since our goal right now is learning what to do when pipes freeze.
Even though we don’t think about it much, there are many things we can do about the frozen pipes without even calling a plumber. So, let’s take a look at those things with a positive note.
Before doing anything, let’s locate the frozen pipe first
It’s not uncommon for you to leave your house during the winter season. But the tendency of our pipes being frozen occurs when we leave our homes neglected for long periods. Proper care needed when it comes to maintaining the right amount of heat in order to avoid pipes from reaching the freezing point.
One of the easiest ways of finding frozen water inside your supply pipes is by simply observing the flow of water that’s coming out from your taps in your bathroom, your kitchen and even your pantry. If you feel that the water does not flow from your taps as used to or maybe it’s your toilet tank that does not refill automatically as usual. Then either one of these could be a good indication that there could be a chunk of ice that’s being formed inside the pipes.
And you can come into this conclusion right away without having second thoughts since it’s the winter season and not hot summer. No matter whether it’s the bathroom, the sink or the basement pipes wherever you suspect of a frozen pipe, there will be visible traces of ice outside the pipes itself if you care to investigate closely.
Thawing is what you should do when pipes freeze, so let’s get to it
As you have located the frozen pipes correctly, turn off the water supply coming into the frozen section of the pipe. Just get a mop and a bucket in case of a water leak to be on the safe side. Now open both hot and cold handles of the faucet affected. This will help to release the pressure, if not It will at least help the water to escape.
We can now start the thawing process. But do not begin the thawing process any ware near to the ice chunk that clogged up inside the pipe, because the ice starts to melt from behind. This is where the pipe could even split unexpectedly, as it creates more water pressure inside the pipe due to the heat generated from thawing.
Now that it’s clear it’s time for us to get to work. Thawing Is not as hard as it sounds. You can use a heat lamp to do it. Or maybe if you are lucky enough, you can even use your wife’s hair dryer to thaw the frozen sections of the pipeline. This method is not going to cost you anything as you will not have to run to a hardware store. All you’ll need for this is your wife’s permission to use the hairdryer.
Let’s start the thawing process generally close to the faucet first and then gradually move along the way till you find the ice blockage. As mentioned earlier this method will Help the water to escape through the opened tap naturally by clearing out the frost.
Great! Now that we know what to do when pipes freeze, it’s also important to know what you should do to prevent pipes from freezing in the future. The most common practice about insulating all the pipes exposed to the colder environment inside your house. This maybe the basement or the garage in your home.
But keep in mind to cover all the affected fittings, as well as the pipes because most people ignore the fittings as they just start to wrap around the pipes only. And this is where you need to make sure that you insulate all the pipes that are under the roof, as well as the pipes underneath your flooring. Because these are usually the most vulnerable areas where pipes are fixed when it comes to regular households.