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How to Know If Your Pipes Are Frozen This Winter

October 28, 2015 by
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The winter season can easily jeopardize your home’s plumbing. The harsh temperatures can freeze the pipes inside and outside of your home. This can damage your plumbing and make it completely useless. In this case, you will need to pay a professional plumber to come and fix the issue. However, it isn’t easy trying to fix the plumbing in the dead of winter, and not all problems can be fixed when the ground is frozen solid.

Frozen Pipes

When the season begins getting colder, pay close attention to the signs associated with frozen pipes. If you catch the frozen pipes soon enough, you might be able to avoid extreme damage such as a busted pipe.

6 Signs that Might Indicate Your Pipes are Freezing

  1. Only a small amount of water comes out of the faucet when you turn it on.
  2. No water comes out at all and the pipes make an awful sound when you try to turn the water on.
  3. A foul odor coming from sinks, toilets or drains is a big indicator that a pipe is broken or a backup has occurred. The lower levels of homes tend to smell the worst.
  4. If you notice your drywall is damp, there might just be a broken pipeline behind it. Immediately call a plumber before further damage is done.
  5. Iced over pipes or even wet pipes are no good. Bulging pipes are also an indication of frozen pipes.
  6. Pay attention to your home and its exterior. Make sure there aren’t any puddles or dampness where there shouldn’t be.

What You Can Do to Thaw Frozen Pipes

When you are sure that your plumbing is frozen or beginning to freeze, turn the water off with the appropriate water valve. You may even want to turn the entire property’s water main off. Begin running warm water through the frozen pipe. Continue running water through until you notice a difference in the water flow, or until you can tell that the pipe has thawed.

You can also apply heat to the frozen pipe directly. Heating pads work great for this. Simply apply the heating pad around the frozen section of the pipe and keep it there until the pipe has thawed out, and the water pressure has been restored.

Rather than waiting for pipes to freeze and trying to fix them, practice preventative measures. Wrap pipes in foam insulation, allow faucets to slowly drip cold water, open cabinet doors to keep the pipes underneath them warmer, and make sure that the home is always heated, even if you are not home.

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