Responding To Your Frozen Plumbing Pipes

28 June 2023
 Categories: , Blog


As winter approaches, homeowners face many challenges in maintaining their homes. One challenge is dealing with frozen plumbing pipes. The bitter cold can wreak havoc on your plumbing systems, causing pipes to freeze and potentially burst.

How Do Frozen Plumbing Pipes Occur?

Frozen plumbing pipes are primarily caused by exposure to extremely cold temperatures, especially if the pipes are inadequately insulated or located in unheated parts of your home like basements and garages. When the water inside these pipes freezes, it expands and creates pressure within the pipe, leading to blockages or even bursts.

Key signs that suggest your pipes might be frozen include irregular water flow or complete stoppage from faucets and drains. Preventing frozen plumbing involves insulating exposed piping. Heat tape or pipe insulation are two practical options for helping to keep the water in the pipe from freezing. Letting taps drip slightly can also relieve pressure buildup within the pipe.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Frozen Plumbing Pipes?

A burst pipe from freezing is a significant hazard as it can cause an immediate flood once thawed. This may lead to electrical hazards if the water comes into contact with wiring.

Water damage by a burst pipe can lead to mold growth. Unfortunately, the mold can quickly spread to other areas of the home. Once this has occurred, remediating the mold can be significantly more difficult and costly.

How To Safely Thaw Frozen Plumbing Pipes?

The first step towards safely thawing your frozen pipe is identifying where it has been blocked. You can check different sections for frosting or ice accumulation and observe which taps have irregular flow.

Once you locate the frozen portion of the pipe, use safe heating methods, such as using warm towels wrapped around it. Individuals may try to use open flames to thaw the pipes. However, this can create a fire risk and damage the pipe.

During this process, you must remain vigilant for signs of potential bursting, such as bulging spots on the pipe. You may also hear unusual noises that indicate imminent rupture, so shut off your main water supply immediately if you notice these sounds. 

How To Deal With A Burst Pipe From Freezing?

The first step when dealing with a burst pipe is immediately shutting off your main water supply to prevent further flooding. Furthermore, switch off the electricity in flooded areas to reduce the risk of electrocution.

Try removing as much standing water as possible using buckets followed by mops. Quickly drying these surfaces is a step towards preventing mold growth. Furthermore, you should call emergency plumbing services  for help repairing the problem.