Frozen Pipes | Plumber Arlington
As water freezes it expands, it is this expansion placing extreme pressure on the pipes that causes them to break. The pipes that are most likely to freeze are those that are exposed to extreme cold, such as those located outdoors, and in unheated areas such as attics, basements and crawl spaces, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against un-insulated or under-insulated exterior walls are also vulnerable to freezing. While preventative measures taken in the fall are the best means, occasionally extreme cold manages to freeze a pipe anyway. Before you call a plumber in Arlington, check out the following instructions for thawing frozen pipes.
The first sign of frozen pipes is reduced flow or no water flow at a tap. In this blog we will instruct you on how to thaw frozen pipes, from beginning to end. If you would prefer to leave this work to an qualified expert who can provide repairs if required, called a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Arlington
There are several good reasons for ensuring the water lines won’t freeze. The first reason is, of course, that you can’t get any water when your pipes are frozen. The next reason is to avoid a burst pipe which can cause costly damage to the home and its foundation, and the potential for mold. When your home experiences a burst pipe shut off your water and contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Arlington for pipe repair.
Pipes Most at Risk
Pipes are most vulnerable to freezing when located:
- In an exterior wall
- Beneath a sink on an exterior wall
- In an unheated crawlspace, basement or attic.
- In an outdoor location, such as a garage, shed, barn or other un-insulated structure.
Assuming your pipes were adequately wrapped for winter, extreme cold is one cause of frozen pipes, but it is not the only factor contributing to frozen pipes. When your home’s heating system fails, it places all of the water lines in your home at risk of freezing and even bursting.
Next, learn how to handle frozen pipes:
- Try to determine where the frozen section of pipe is located:
- A lack of water can indicate a frozen pipe leading to the faucet or fixture.
- Turn on the water taps and fixtures in different locations of your home to identify any that do not provide water as normal. Water in frozen lines will typically trickle or provide none at all. This can potentially assist in isolating the location of a frozen water line within a specific area of your home, such as a bathroom, for example.
- The majority of a home’s plumbing is out of sight, but for those that can be seen, finding the presence of frost on the pipe’s exterior can indicate the pipe is frozen. Frozen sections of pipe are often much colder to touch than areas that are not frozen. Inspect pipes for bulging areas and cracking.
- Check for exposed pipes in the area where a suspected frozen water line is located. This may require checking in attic, basement, or crawlspace to check for overlooked pipes lacking insulation.
- Pipe sections to be examined include the main water supply pipe, as well as the water supply line going to the affected fixture.
If you are unable to locate a frozen pipe consider the following:
If the entire home lacks water, the frozen section may be on the water main. Any gap in the insulation could enable the pipe to freeze in that location. If there were no gaps present, inspect the point where water enters the home. If no gaps in the insulation are noted, and if you can easily remove the insulation, check the pipe for signs of freezing (frost, colder in a frozen area than the pipe behind the region).
In extremely bitter cold, and especially wind driven cold, even a hairline crack can enable a pipe to freeze. Pipe sleeves and other insulation have established tolerances, if temperatures fall below it, frozen pipes can result.
If you are still unable to locate the frozen pipe, it may be within the wall. It is time to call for the professional assistance of a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Arlington.
When Frozen Pipe is Located
Once you have located the frozen pipe, it is time to thaw it. If you are uncomfortable with this step, contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Arlington.
Cut off the water main, and open several faucets throughout the home. If the pipe is in an accessible location, such as under a sink, use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen length of pipe. Wrapping frozen pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape is also a fast and effective way to quickly thaw a frozen pipe.
Don’t thaw pipes using a propane torch, which presents a fire risk and is a cause of house fires during cold weather.
If you are unable to access or locate frozen pipes, contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Arlington.
When a Leak Has Occurred
If you have a leak after thawing occurs, shut off the main water supply to minimize flooding and damage to the home and its foundation. Next, call your plumber in Arlington.
Do not enter a flooded area, unless you can safely shut off the electrical main in the home’s service panel without entering the water. All homeowners should know where the home’s shut-off valve is located.
When you call upon a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Arlington to resolvefrozen pipes, or for other plumbing services, you are assured of receiving a highly skilled, licensed and experienced plumber in Arlington who utilizes the latest plumbing technology. Benjamin Franklin’s plumbing professionals provide the highest standards in the industry for plumbing services of residential and commercial applications. We serve Arlington, Fort Worth and the surrounding areas. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is a member of the BBB with a consistent A+ rating.