If you have damage from frozen pipes, or you need help preventing frozen pipes for your home or business, your friends from Majestic Plumbing & Electric Plumbing & Electric can help you!
Frozen Pipes Can Stop You in Your Tracks
At Majestic Plumbing & Electric, we truly hope that you can avoid the messy and often expensive problem of frozen pipes. Generally, winters in Georgia remain quite a bit milder than other areas of the country. But even in the South, we can experience unexpected cold snaps, and even deep freezes that catch us by surprise. Unfortunately, not all homes are built the same. Many Georgia homes are built with water systems located in unprotected, uninsulated sections. Frozen pipes can be an intensely messy and expensive emergency. That’s why it’s important to understand why frozen pipes happens. That’s why it’s important to know how to make sure pipe freezing doesn’t happen in your home or business.
The Science of Frozen Pipes
While most folks are aware that water expands as it freezes, we often forget to apply this bit of scientific trivia to our homes. The expansion that occurs when water freezes puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the "strength" of a container, the expansion of water as it freezes can cause pipes to split open and pipe joints to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold. Outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets are most susceptible to freezing. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing. The damages caused by frozen pipes can be catastrophic. Just one burst pipe in your home can result in tens of thousands of dollars damage in a few short minutes. And if left unattended, this can result in unsightly, unsanitary mold.
Preventing Frozen Pipes Is Possible
Our plumbers and technicians at Majestic Plumbing & Electric are skilled at inspecting your potential for frozen pipes and can create a recommended plan of action before the onset of colder weather. In the meantime, here are some helpful tips to help prevent frozen pipes or iced-out water supply lines for your home or business. When it gets cold outside, try these tips!
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Leave your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to help warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. (Be sure to remove any harmful cleaners or chemicals out of the reach of children.)
- If the weather is very cold outside, consider letting cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. (Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—can prevent pipes from freezing.)
- Re-program your thermostat to temporarily suspend the use of automatically lowered nighttime temperatures. (By keeping your thermostat set to the same temperature, you may incur a higher heating bill, but may prevent a much more costly repair bill for frozen pipes.)
- If you plan to be away during winter weather, leave the central heat on in your home or business, and set the temperature to no lower than 55° F.
What Should I Do if I’ve Already Experienced a Frozen Pipe in My Home or Business?
There are some very obvious signs that you have a frozen pipe in your residential or commercial property. One of the first signs of a frozen pipe is when you see reduced water flow or completely inhibited water flow when you turn on your faucets. If you experience slow-or-no-flow in cold weather, trying these could save your pipes before they burst:
- Turn off the main water valve to your house and leave your faucets open.
- AVOID using an open flame in an attempt to thaw your frozen pipes.
- AVOID using any type of electric heater or hair dryer directly on your pipes in an attempt.
- Slowly warm the entire room or crawl space where the frozen pipes are located.
- Watch for leaks as the pipes thaw. If you see leaks, stop what you’re doing.
- Call the professionals from Majestic Plumbing & Electric to come help you!
Simply put, there are no definite quick-fixes once you have frozen pipes. Remember that generalized heat and patience is the best way to get your pipes to thaw. Turning the water back on is best handled with two people, with one person slowly opening the main water valve and the other walking throughout the house to be sure no water is actively leaking.
If water is leaking from frozen pipes, turn off the main water valve immediately and open the lowest hot and cold faucets in your home to allow as much water as possible to drain naturally, rather than leak out the frozen pipe. If you’d like to know more about frozen pipe prevention, or you need a professional plumber to come check your pipes for cold weather readiness, or to retrofit your pipes for successful frozen pipe prevention, call your friends at Majestic Plumbing & Electric today!