What do you do when your pipes freeze? Turn off the water turn on the heat call a plumber ASAP and prevent splitting pipes – here’s how!
At John the plumber Calgary one of the most common calls we get in the winter time is:
“Help! My pipes are frozen and I have no water. No hot water no cold water! Nothing.”
Worse, what may also be happening is that your pipe has split or crack. Because water expands when it freezes, it can cause enough pressure inside a pipe (be it a copper, PEX or any kind of plastic) and cause a break. You may not know there’s a break until it has thawed or is in the process of thawing and water starts streaming out of that break when it starts to flow freely again.
Of course, turning off the water should be the first thing that you think of whenever there is a any plumbing issue in your home to prevent any further problems. But all that water in that pipe has to go somewhere, so thawing it carefully and slowly is going to be important. If a pipe splits it can wreak havoc in your house, especially if it’s not in the exposed area and behind a wall. Water pipes freeze for all sorts of reasons in the winter time – it’s not always the ones you think (like the ones leading to the outside) that get affected.
Often, a portion of the pipe will run along a part of the house that is just not very well insulated and has too much cold air on it – once Calgary gets into a deep freeze this can be a major problem as all water freezes very quickly and any water trapped inside. You may not always be able to prevent this but there are often ways, especially if you know it’s an area of the house that gets cold very quickly and is colder or draftier than other areas.
Adding more insulation of course can be important , but also making sure there’s always water running through and that any water shut-off to areas that are not needed on a regular basis as well. For instance, if you are going to be away on vacation to Mexico for 2 weeks, turn off your water and run all the taps to make sure there is no water stuck inside of them. If you rent out your house or apartment, ensure that your tenants are doing the same.
To thaw a pipe, sometimes something simple like a hair dryer or heat gun (if you can access the pipe easily) may be all that’s needed. Copper pipes can take a special electrical charge through them that will thaw the pipe very quickly.
There are always options, and John the Plumber Calgary can help.
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