Spring is almost here, and you may have let your guard down just long enough for the temperatures to plummet while you were unprepared. If your pipes freeze you may fear the worst, frozen pipes can result in severe damage, but before you panic, there are a few things you can do.
What Happens When Pipes Freeze?
When the temperatures plummet, and you are unprepared, the pipes in your home or building might be at risk. When liquids freeze they expand, which means that if they are trapped in a confined space, they will put high levels of pressure on the walls of whatever they are in. If water gets trapped in pipes when it freezes (regardless of whether they are plastic or metal) it can cause them to warp and burst.
Some areas are more susceptible to freezing than others, pipes that are outdoors, for instance, or in unheated basements, are far more at risk. Regardless of where pipes are located, when low temperatures are expected, you will want to be sure that you leave the taps in your home slightly open. This allows the water inside to continue flowing and keeps it from freezing.
What Should You Do If A Pipe Freezes?
If you catch yourself with a tap that isn’t flowing after a cold snap, you may have a frozen pipe, and it’s time to take action. If you are able to identify which pipe is frozen and where you can administer aid to just that pipe. However, if one pipe is frozen, the chances that others are is high. Start by checking each tap in your home to see if and how many others are also affected.
When you have identified which pipes have been affected, leave their taps open to relieve as much of the built up pressure as possible. Next, attempt to warm the frozen pipe. Warming should be done slowly and steadily such as with a hair dryer or an electric heating pad. Never use a more forceful method such as an open flame. If the pipe bursts when frozen it’s best to shut off your water main as soon as possible to prevent damage. In many cases, and mainly if you can’t find the pipe that is frozen, it’s best to call in a professional immediately.
Get in Touch With B&D Today!
Dealing with any plumbing concerns that require a professional to step in? Struggling with an absolute plumbing emergency that can’t wait? Let B&D Plumbing know. B&D Plumbing Inc. services the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia. Get in touch with us by calling (301) 595-1141 or follow us on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. As a small, family-owned business, we understand how important your home is—and we offer exceptional service that matches!