What To Do When A Water Pipe Freezes
A solid mass of ice can obstruct a pipe and cause tremendous pressure as it expands. Too much pressure bursts the water supply pipes. Unsurprisingly, supply lines waste thousands of gallons this way, especially water sprinkler supply lines and swimming pool supply lines.
Another problem arises with ice dam blockages. Water and debris could build up, leading to potentially catastrophic water damage when the ice eventually breaks or melts. So, what can you do?
This winter, MN Plumbing & Home Services wants to help. Our local plumbing experts recommend the following if your water pipes freeze:
#1 Cut The Water Supply to the Frozen Pipe
How can you mitigate the damage from a burst pipe? Stop the water supply at its source. If you can't tell which pipe has frozen, the safest option is to shut off the home’s main water supply.
#2 Investigate Exposed Pipes To Pinpoint the Frozen Section
When tracking down the frozen pipe, start with exposed water pipes in crawl spaces, attics, exterior walls, and basements. Interior pipes are less vulnerable to freezing.
#3 Protect the Pipe From Damage
Frozen pipes could be under a lot of pressure. Opening faucets that draw water from the obstructed line might relieve pressure on that frozen section.
#4 Thaw the Pipe
Hot water down the drain will sometimes thaw a frozen drain pipe. However, it is generally not advisable to thaw frozen pipes without plumbing experience because of the following risks:
- Fire risk from using a heater around flammable objects
- Risk of electric shock from using a hair dryer around condensation or water
- A sudden rush of water through burst pipes when an ice dam gives way
- A weakened pipe that bursts when ice melts and water shoots through
Follow These Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes
Prevention of frozen pipes is vital for protecting your home in Minnesota. Try the following strategies:
- Turn on the faucet at a trickle during cold weather to let cold water drip through cold water pipes
- Allow warmer air to reach pipes within exterior walls
- Replace copper pipes with plastic pipes
- Winterize your water heater and water filtration system
- Drain water from the water supply lines to your sprinkler system or swimming pool
- Insulate water pipes
- Consider relocating exposed pipes
Call Us Anytime For Professional Help With Pipes
Call (952) 469-8341 today for:
MN Plumbing & Home Services is happy to provide a frozen pipe replacement cost estimate and answer your questions about what to do if your pipes freeze.