Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on home plumbing systems. When pipes freeze, homes are left without running water until the blockages thaw. If your pipes freeze, it’s important to hire a Toronto residential plumber from The Great Plumbing Co to properly thaw your pipes and restore the flow of water safely. Here are some commonly asked questions about frozen pipe repair.
What Causes Pipes to Freeze in Winter?
Pipes exposed to cold air or drafts are most prone to freezing. Low insulation, cracked foundations, and gaps in weather sealing expose plumbing to freezing ambient temperatures. Pipes in unheated areas like attics, garages, and crawlspaces are high risk. Extended periods below freezing cause water inside pipes to solidify and block flow.
Can I Prevent Frozen Pipes?
Yes! Insulate water lines in unheated areas, seal foundation cracks and air gaps, and wrap outdoor hose bibs. Let indoor taps drip during sub-freezing weather to maintain circulation. Keep garage or entry doors closed on extremely cold days. Set heat to a minimum of 55 °F. Prevention is key.
What Are Signs My Pipes Are Frozen?
No water flow from taps despite valves being open likely means a frozen blockage. Check for sections where pipes feel unusually cold to the touch. Listen for gurgling sounds when turning on fixtures. Burst pipes often cause leaks once they thaw. Lack of water points to freezing issues.
When Should I Call for Emergency Pipe Thawing?
Call a plumber immediately if you lose all water, if pipes burst and leak after thawing, or if you can’t locate or resolve the freeze yourself. Night freeze-ups may require emergency after-hours service before serious flooding and water damage occurs in your home. Fast response is key.
How Do Plumbers Thaw Pipes?
Plumbers use specialized heating tools to safely thaw your pipes based on the type and location. They’ll heat the frozen section gradually, preventing dangerous pressure spikes when the ice expands. Once the water starts flowing, they’ll flush the lines and check for leaks, cracks, or bursts needing repair.
Is Pipe Relining Advisable After Freezing?
Pipes that repeatedly freeze and thaw sustain internal damage over time. Ask your plumber about epoxy relining, which coats the inside of pipes to prevent future corrosion and freezing. Relining extends the plumbing’s lifespan and saves money on replacing entire pipe sections.
Should I Insulate Pipes After They Freeze?
Absolutely! After addressing frozen pipes, take measures to prevent recurrence next winter. Install foam insulation on exposed water lines and duct tape for any cracks letting in cold air. Maintaining heat tape on problem spots also helps avoid freezing in the future. An ounce of prevention!
What Plumbing Damage Can Result From Frozen Pipes?
Ice expansion inside pipes causes cracks and bursts, which leak large amounts of water once thawed. Leaks lead to costly damage to walls, ceilings, carpets, and furniture. If a pipe freezes and no one notices, immense flooding can occur. Preventing frozen pipes saves headaches.
How Can I Avoid Needing Pipe Thawing Services?
Insulate at-risk pipes before winter. Maintain indoor heat during cold spells. Allow faucets to drip during below-freezing nights. Heat tape Problem areas. Close off unheated rooms. Address drafts throughout the home.
Learn where your main shut-off valve is. Take preventive action with the experts at The Great Plumbing Co! With knowledge of how and why pipes freeze, homeowners can take key steps to minimize the chances of them needing emergency thawing services. However, if yours has already frozen, you need professional help. Reach out to a professional and licensed plumber to get help thawing your pipes.