Frozen Pipe Repair
A frozen pipe is not a single, isolated issue. In fact, it can cause multiple home maintenance catastrophes if left unchecked. Even a one-eighth of an inch crack in a pipe can release upwards of 250 gallons of water every day. This amount of water goes beyond flooding by also causing tremendous structural damage and the growth of mold.
Pipes can freeze in both cold and warm climates, as over a quarter of a million families are affected by frozen pipes each winter. There are even more severe cases in Colorado Springs, since we live in such a cold climate in the winter time. January hits and the ground freezes—this is a commonly known situation for homeowners and businesses in the area. This US statistic is far too large, since the damage of a frozen pipe can often be prevented.
Here are 4 common signs of frozen pipes that you can look out for in your home:
1. It’s Freezing Outside
Your pipes will only freeze if it is cold enough outdoors. When the temperature begins to hover around or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you should start preventative action to keep them from freezing.
2.The Pipes Exhibit Frost
If you have visual access to the pipe, check for accumulated frost around the pipe. Pipes that can commonly be seen are those in your kitchen or bathroom areas. If you suspect the pipe may be frozen, check the pipe before turning on the faucet.
3. Water Isn’t Coming Out
If you turn the faucet on and nothing happens, you may have a frozen pipe. Additionally, if the faucet only releases a small trickle of water, the pipes leading to the faulty sink may be frozen.
4. Unusual Odors
Finally, if the faucet or drain is releasing strange smells, the pipe is likely partially or completely blocked. When pipes are blocked, the only way for smells to come back up is through the faucet or drain. This causes your smaller rooms like restrooms to be filled with an unpleasant odor.
What to do if You Suspect a Frozen Pipe
If you notice any of these signs, act quickly. When a water emergency like a leaking pipe occurs, you need a professional plumbing service to fully handle the situation. From small annoyances to large-scale issues, water leaks are a common problem that many homeowners in Colorado deal with annually. During winter weather conditions, the water in your pipes may freeze, this may cause burst pipes. This causes blockage and can potentially crack your pipe. As the ice thaws, you may start to notice changes in water flow or leaking in certain areas of your home.
We have the tools and equipment necessary to detect the location of the leak in your home. We have an experienced team of trained professionals who know exactly how to patch the leak as quickly as possible to stop the unwanted flow of water. Finding the leak early saves you from spending money on costly structural repairs to your home due to water damage.
Your home contains hundreds of feet of water pipes running throughout every room. If anyone of those pipes starts leaking, it could lead to costly water waste and expensive repairs. If you suspect a leak or a burst pipe in your home, do not wait to call a professional.
At Jolly Plumbing, we can take care of any leak in your home. We have experience working with plastic, copper, and galvanized piping in various buildings. If you are experiencing issues due to frozen pipes, and need frozen pipe repair, turn off your main water shut-off valve and call for help right away. If there is a situation where we are not able to get to you right away like in the video clip below from koaa a space heater might help thaw some pipes. But depending on the situation it's best to just give us a call anyway, we can provide you with tips that could better help your particular situation.
Common Frozen Pipe Questions
How can I prevent pipes from freezing and bursting when extreme cold weather is forecasted?
A blast of cold winter weather means more than just getting an extra blanket to huddle under to keep warm. It’s essential to think about your pipes during frigid temperatures. Ignoring your pipes during these types of weather events means your setting yourself up for frozen and burst pipes. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, as there are some things you can do to protect your pipes proactively.
One of the first things you should do is open any cabinets where your pipes happen to be, such as under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. By opening them up, you’re allowing the heat from the house to protect these pipes better. Another action you can take is to let the water slowly run out of the tap. Sure, you will be wasting some water, but allowing it to flow helps to prevent freezing. Then, of course, you could always put a bucket in the sink and use that water for watering your plants and other purposes.
You’ll also want to invest in insulating materials specially made for your outdoor spigots, water heater, and pipes. These items are typically found at your local box stores and DIY stores. The best news is that they are often relatively cheap, especially when comparing them to how much it can cost you to handle a burst pipe in your home when you consider both the plumbing issue and the water damage it can leave behind.
What is the best way to thaw out a frozen pipe in my home?
Did you get caught off guard, and your pipe froze? You’ll often notice when the water doesn’t flow or your toilet doesn’t fill up. Don’t panic. You’ll want to shut off the water either to that particular area or to the whole home if necessary. Taking this action is a good idea because it helps relieve some pressure. It also ensures that if your frozen pipe bursts, only the water currently in the pipe will be released in your home rather than a continual amount of water flowing out of the broken pipe. You’ll also want to turn on your faucets to help drain the water from the area.
Once the water to the area of the home you suspect the frozen pipe to be in is shut off, you’ll want to locate the frozen area. The good news is that the frozen water can act as a plug keeping the water in the pipe. Next, you’ll want to gather some towels, buckets, and a heat source like a blow dryer or hot water. Don’t use a propane torch, as that can be a fire hazard. Start on the edges of the frozen area and work your way toward the middle of the frozen section. You can also warm the room by using a space heater.
Once you believe that the section is now unfrozen, you’ll want to turn the water back on partially. Then, go to the area in question, and inspect for any leaks before turning your water entirely on.
Calling in the professionals at any step of this process that you don’t feel confident in handling is always a good idea and may save you from more significant problems down the road.
How do you find an indoor frozen water pipe?
It’s freezing outside, and you’ve shuffled to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate to enjoy with a good book, but when you turn the tap, no water comes out. There’s a good chance you have a frozen pipe, so what’s next? Frozen water pipes can be a real problem as they can turn into, at worst, burst pipes. Even pipes that are safely dethawed can still pose a problem if leaks occur due to the freezing. First, you’ll want to find the section of pipe that’s frozen. That can be a tricky process since you may not have access to all of the pipes. Next, you’ll want to inspect the areas of pipe that you can see visibly. Some ways to identify where the frozen section is located is by seeing frost on the pipe, a noticeable bulge, or other damage to the pipe. You can also go about feeling the pipe as the frozen section will feel ice cold to the touch.
One hint is that if all of your faucets are not turning on, the frozen section is closer to the main water valve rather than one of the individual pipes running to a particular sink. So, for example, if the sinks upstairs aren’t working, but they do work on the first floor, the frozen area is between the floors. Once you’ve located the area, it’s time to start dethawing the section that’s frozen. When in doubt, call the professionals. They can help to find the problem and handle it in the best manner possible.
Jolly Plumbing is your local plumbing and heating company. We promise to offer you upstanding customer service, experienced workers, and a job done right the first time. We offer affordable plumbing services to both residential and commercial sites, so no matter the size of your job, we can handle it. Contact Jolly Plumbing today at 719-473-8545 for any of your plumbing problems.