Did you know that about 25 million American families on average have one or more rooms in their homes ruined by frozen water pipes breaking?
You see, water expands as it freezes and can exert over 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. Thats enough pressure to rupture most any line filled with water, which doesnt have any place for the ice to expand when pipes exposed to winters extreme chill freeze. When the pipes do burst, they spill hundreds of gallons of water per hour into a home, which does thousands of dollars of damage.
Fortunately, its possible to thaw your lines out when they freeze to prevent them from breaking.
- First, you need to be able to spot frozen pipes. Water lines coated in frost or ones that are beginning to bulge like a snake thats just eaten are pretty good indicators that the water has frozen. Your faucets wont turn on and your toilet wont refill after flushing, either.
- Second, you have to turn off the water supply to that section of plumbing (or to the entire house). The problem isn't the actual frozen pipe, but what happens after the pipe thaws out. Have a mop ready for any leaks and spills that might happen when the water gushes out after being thawed out.
- Third, you're going to want to use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw out the frozen pipe. Do not use a propane torch to thaw the pipes out, as that poses a fire risk.
In the even that your pipes do freeze up, hire a trenchless sewer repair service to take care of the issue. Trenchless methods for homes have been around for about 15 years, yet 78% of Angies List poll respondents hadnt heard of it. Essentially, a trenchless plumber can handle your problems from two small access points at either end of the line, which means that they wont have to dig up your yard. You can get your lines fixed and replaced right then and right there.
If you have any questions about frozen pipes, feel free to share in the comments.