Frozen pipes can be a lot more than inconvenient – they can lead to costly water damage for your home. If you notice decreased water pressure when the temperature is below freezing, you may have a frozen pipe and you will want to deal with it as soon as possible.
Diagnose the Problem
The first thing you will need to do is make sure your pipe really is frozen. Frozen pipes will obviously only be a problem with cold weather, so you want to check the temperatures to know if they are below freezing. Then if you have either no running water, or just a small trickle, you are probably dealing with a frozen pipe.
First Things First
Before you start dealing with the pipe itself, turn the water supply off. When water in pipes turn to ice, this causes the water to expand. When the water expands it becomes too much mass for the pipe and the pipe will crack, or “burst.” When the pipe begins to thaw, that water now has an exit route, and you will begin to see water coming out of the pipe.
Thawing with Heat
Use a safe heat source to thaw the pipe, whether it's a space heater, a heat lamp, or even a hair dryer. It's a little pricey, but you can also buy thermostatically controlled heat tape from your local hardware store to slowly thaw a frozen section of pipe. When in doubt, contact an expert plumber from SSI to help thaw the pipe carefully.
What If Your Pipe Bursts?
When you notice that you have a burst pipe, first, shut off the water source. Once the water is shut off, it is time to call SSI to schedule one of our experienced plumbers to come to your house to fix the burst pipe and inspect your entire system to make sure there was no other damage to the pipe. We have technicians available 24/7 for these unexpected plumbing issues.
SSI has been helping Northern Virginia residents with all their plumbing needs for 40 years, and you can get a discount on all your services when you have our maintenance plan that pays for itself with the annual inspection. Contact us today to learn more about our plumbing inspections.