When you turn on the faucet, you expect water to come out of it. If just a trickle comes out, followed by a gurgling sound, you probably have frozen pipes. The pipes most likely to freeze are the ones around the perimeter of your home, especially if they aren’t well-insulated. If you think your home’s pipes are frozen, it’s important to take prompt action to prevent them from bursting and flooding your home.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
It’s important to know the signs of frozen pipes so that you can take action before the pipes have a chance to burst. The signs of frozen pipes include no water coming from any of the pipes in your home. It’s possible that a trickle of water will come out. This is the leftover water close to the fixture. If nothing more comes out, you have frozen pipes.
Look for the Frozen Pipe
You may not be able to find which pipe is frozen, but it’s a good idea to inspect your home. If you have a basement or crawl space, look for a pipe that’s leaking. Feel the pipes. If they feel extremely cold, they’re frozen. Look for signs of leaking water on your walls, ceiling, or floor. Water will travel in the path of least resistance. A pipe that has frozen and burst may cause water to leak elsewhere. You may see discoloration on a wall or ceiling. The paint or wallpaper may start to bubble. The surface may feel damp to the touch.
Attempting to Thaw the Pipes Yourself
If you have a frozen pipe, but it hasn’t ruptured yet, you can either try to thaw it yourself or call a plumber. Trying to thaw a pipe yourself can be dangerous. Never use a flame to thaw a frozen pipe. This could ignite combustible materials. You could also injure yourself. If you try to thaw the pipes yourself, turn on all the cold water taps in your home. Many people will attempt to use an incandescent light bulb to thaw a frozen pipe. That’s because these light bulbs release a lot of heat. If you try this, remove any combustible materials, such as paper, cardboard, and insulation. Some people try to thaw pipes with hair dryers or space heaters. If water starts to leak, doing this puts you at risk of electrocution.
Call a Plumber
The safest way to handle frozen pipes is to call a plumber. Leaving this potentially dangerous situation to our experts is safer for you and your home. We’re available for plumbing emergencies, such as frozen pipes, 24/7. Our rapid response time minimizes the risk of frozen pipes bursting. In order to repair a frozen pipe located in an exterior wall, our plumbers may need to cut a hole in the wall. This allows the warmer air of your home to facilitate the thawing of the pipe. The sooner we get started thawing the frozen pipe, the lower the risk of the pipe bursting under the intense internal pressure caused by the expansion of the ice.
Prevent Frozen Pipes in the Future
When possible, insulate your pipes. Adding insulation to the perimeter walls of your home will also reduce the risk of frozen pipes. Achieve the recommended R-value of insulation for your home’s location, age, and building material type. Seal any wall cracks, and add caulk or weatherstripping around door and window frames. Disconnect hoses from your home’s outdoor spigots in the autumn. Drain water from pipes and plumbing fixtures if they won’t be in use. Add antifreeze to prevent the remaining water from freezing. Allow the cold water tap to trickle when it’s frigid outdoors. Keep the kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets open. This allows air to circulate around the pipes. Never allow the temperature in your home to drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If the power goes out, a propane heater may offer enough warmth to prevent pipes from freezing. Consider installing a backup generator that can power your whole house.
HB Home Service Team is the trusted plumbing repair company in Harrisburg. You can also count on us for plumbing maintenance and installation. Our heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, and replacement services keep your home comfortable all year long. If you’re the owner of a business in or near Harrisburg, we’re ready to provide you with prompt commercial heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and plumbing services. For more details on what to do about frozen pipes, get in touch with us today.