During winter, frozen water pipes present serious risks to homeowners and should be handled carefully to prevent water damage and loss. As water freezes, it expands and creates pressure that acts on pipes. The pressure may be so huge that any pipe including metallic ones may not be able to withstand it. Imagine a pressure of over 2,000, pounds in just one square inch. This is such an enormous pressure that can cause pipe bursts of great magnitude.
When pipes burst, they spill many gallons of water, something that leads to increased water bills and above all, causes damage to your property. The problem with frozen pipes is that it can happen inside walls where the pipes have been installed. It also occurs outside the wall, under the sink or in unheated crawlspace. If freezing occurs but the pipe has not yet burst, then you need to thaw it.
When freezing of water on pipes occurs, you may notice that there is no water that drips from the faucet when you open it. You may also notice that water just trickles out. This is because it is prevented from flowing by the clogging caused by the frozen section. What you need to do is to open the faucet and leave it like that. Secondly, you have to identify the section where the freezing has occurred. This may be a challenge especially if it happens behind a wall.
It is important to call an emergency plumber to assist you in dealing with the situation. The faster you act, the better because you save your home from damages that could be caused when the pipes bulge and burst due to pressure. It is advisable to turn on the heater in your house to helping in heating the piping system.
If you are using heat lamp you need to heat the wall section of the area where you believe the freezing has occurred. Usually the frozen areas will have ice on the surface, which is one way of identifying the freezing part of piping system. If the frozen section is behind walls, you have a job to do because you need to tear out the walls or ceiling area to access the pipe. Thawing exposed pipe is more efficient than dealing with pipes hidden in walls or behind ceilings.
As you thaw, you should heat the pipe from the area fitted with faucet towards the section that is frozen. By doing this, you ensure that water flows out and the melting ice flow through the pipe. The already pressurized pipe will allow the melting ice to force its way out of the pipe. If you lack the knowledge on how to thaw frozen pipes, a plumbing contractor experienced in dealing with frozen pipes may assist. You need to call emergency plumbing services to assist you deal with the problem.
In the event that a pipe burst occurs, it means water may enter your building causing flooding and increased moisture. To avoid damage on floors, walls, wooden structures and growth of molds, you should consult water damage repair technician to help in pumping out the water and drying your home. A sump pump may be required to extract the water and drain it off the building.