Winter Plumbing Tips: Are My Pipes Frozen?

When water freezes, it expands. When it expands inside a pipe, it creates too much pressure for the pipe to contain and this could cause the pipe to break. A problem with a frozen pipe is much easier to resolve than a broken pipe. Fortunately, there are ways to thaw out frozen pipes before they become a problem, as well as to prevent them altogether.

 

Why Do Pipes Freeze?

Most of the time, pipes freeze due to exposure to severe cold. It causes the water inside the pipe to freeze, then expand. Pipes that are most susceptible to freezing include:

  • Outdoor hoses
  • Swimming pool supply lines
  • Water sprinkler lines
  • Water supply lines in unheated areas of the house, such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and kitchen cabinets
  • Pipes running along uninsulated exterior walls

 

What Should I Do If My Pipes Are Frozen?

The most obvious sign of frozen pipes is a small trickle from a faucet when there should be more flow. This means a frozen pipe is preventing the flow of water, most likely because the water is frozen, too. The first thing you should do is check every faucet in your home to see if there are other frozen pipes.

Thawing frozen pipes involves leaving the water running in the faucet, which will help to melt ice inside the pipe, while you apply a heat source to a section of the pipe. Sometimes, the section that is frozen is unclear or it does not thaw properly. Other times, you know where the frozen section is, but it is not accessible. It’s always best to call a professional to help you thaw out your pipes before the pressure becomes too much.

 

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

There are some steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes, including:

  • Prepare your pipes for winter weather by draining swimming pools, water sprinkler lines, and outdoor hoses. Store hoses inside and close inside valves.
  • Add insulation to your homes. Pay special attention to attics, basements, crawl spaces, and other unheated areas where water supply lines are located.
  • Relocate exposed pipes to areas where they will be better protected.
  • Open cabinets to encourage warm air to circulate.
  • Run cold water through faucets frequently to keep the water from freezing.

 

When Your Pipes Freeze, Call a Trusted Professional in Utah County

The best way to deal with frozen pipes is to call a professional who is experienced and skilled. JBK Plumbers in Utah County can thaw your frozen pipes so water can flow freely again. We will arrive quickly and provide fair pricing and a written guarantee. We can also help you with other residential water services, such as drain cleaning and water heater installations. Contact JBK Plumbers today for a free estimate for your frozen pipes and other plumbing needs.