What to Do if You Suspect Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes create a lot of damage in a short time. Any cold snap that dips below freezing can result in frozen pipes, and the odds are more likely in climates that rarely reach low temperatures. There is plenty you can do to prevent frozen pipes, but what can you do if you suspect a pipe is already frozen? If your water pressure has dropped to a trickle, get ready to find and thaw the pipe responsible.

Locate the Frozen Area

The key to saving your frozen pipes is to find the portion that’s frozen. Typically, this will be where the pipe is exposed, either on the outside of your building or along the outside wall. Check for frozen pipes by feeling for them. If you have several faucets that feed off one pipe at different intervals, they can also tell you where the blockage is happening. Once you’ve located the ice in the pipe, it’s time to thaw it.

Apply Heat to Frozen Portion of Pipe

Before you apply heat to your pipe, remember to open every faucet. When the ice melts, that water will need somewhere to go. Additionally, keeping the faucets running will help prevent the pipe from re-freezing as soon as you stop applying heat.

Your heat source should be electric or hot water in nature. Don’t use anything that uses an open flame; no portable stoves, no camp cookers, or blowtorches. These items can melt the ice but can boil the water in the pipe, creating highly pressurized explosions. Put the flames away and try something gentler.

An electric hair dryer is your best defense against frozen pipes. It has a relatively low draw on electricity, but it produces high, steady heat. You can easily direct the heat to target the section of pipe that needs it the most. In a pinch, you can also use an electric space heater set close to the pipes. There are also special heating tapes that you can wrap around a pipe and plug in. You’re unlikely to have that on hand, however, so plan ahead if that sounds like something you’d like to use.

Check Every Faucet

Frozen pipes are like mice: if you see one, there are almost certainly others. Check every faucet and exposed pipe in your building once you find one frozen one. It can be tough to find them all, but the one you don’t bother finding could be the one that bursts. Once you’ve checked a faucet, leave it running at just a trickle. You will pay a higher water bill this month, but it will be worth it!

It’s Better to Call a Professional Than Wish You Had

If you can’t find where a pipe is frozen or you aren’t thawing it within a reasonable timeframe, call for professional help. While it is possible to thaw frozen pipes yourself, it’s better to be safe than sorry. A professional can get your plumbing system working right away, and whatever the price it will be cheaper than calling them with a burst pipe and flooding building.

If you suspect a frozen pipe, don’t delay. You have to find the blockage within your pipe. Then, warm it with an electrical hair dryer or a space heater without an open flame. If you can’t find the frozen spot or you can’t thaw it, don’t delay: call in a professional to help!

How to Make the Most of Your Jefferson City Winter Prep Time

photo by Larisa-K- https://pixabay.com/en/users/Larisa-K-1107275/

photo by Larisa-K- https://pixabay.com/en/users/Larisa-K-1107275/

Jefferson City MO experience intense winter months that can cause major destruction to homes. In addition to cold temperatures and snow and ice, winter brings dangerous driving conditions and the potential for damaging and deadly storms. Severe winter storms can be extremely dangerous. In this article, you will learn how to make the most of your Jefferson City winter prep time.

 

Most Common Form of Property Damage

The most common form of property damage in the winter in Jefferson City is due to frozen pipes. Frozen water causes the pipes to expand, which can lead to cracks within the pipeline. When temperatures rise above freezing, however, these cracks can cause unwanted water flowing within your property in large volumes. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent frozen pipes. Keep reading to find out how to prevent it.

Insulate Your Pipes

In Jefferson City, there are very harsh winters you have to deal with. Most homes have insulated pipes, however, there are certain areas that are usually forgotten. Places such as the garage and sprinkler systems. Pipes that are directly exposed to the outside weather are most vulnerable to freezing when the weather drops below 32 degrees. When you insulate your pipes, it creates a barrier between the cold weather that can prevent pipes from freezing when the temperatures drop. When you live in a place like Jefferson City, you can’t take chances, you have to prepare.

Maintain Internal Temperatures

Many people in Jefferson City tend to turn the thermostat down when they leave their home or business. Harsh winter nights put your pipes at risk of freezing if the internal temperatures go below 55 degrees. To avoid this, make sure the internal temperature of your property stays no cooler than 55 degrees.

Keep the Water Running

When dealing with harsh cold winters like in Jefferson City, leaving the water running can actually save you money. You might think it will cost more to continuously have a trickle of water flowing from the tap, but that is not the case. It will cost more to fix frozen or damaged pipes than to leave the water running so the pipes don’t freeze.

Keep your Garage Closed

Keeping your garage door open in Jefferson City can lead to tons of frozen or damaged pipes. When you keep the garage door closed, it allows any heat from the building to stay at a higher temperature than if the door was kept open. Even though the heat rise is small, it could be enough to prevent any pipes from freezing.

 

Dealing with winter in Jefferson City can lead to damages in your home or business if you’re not careful. Remember to insulate your pipes, maintain temperatures, keep the water running, and your garage closed. That is how to make the most of your Jefferson City winter prep time. And if you experience damage, there is a company who will help you no matter what. Kelley Klean is a full-service restoration company with experience restoring properties from water damage caused by frozen pipes. For more information on Kelley Klean, call their number (573)561-5382.

 

How to Handle Frozen Pipes

photo by 61015- https://pixabay.com/en/users/61015-61015/

photo by 61015- https://pixabay.com/en/users/61015-61015/

Frozen pipes are many homeowner’s nightmare. They can be tricky to handle, and if left untreated can result in pipes bursting. A burst pipe can do plenty of damage before it’s contained. Follow these steps to handle frozen pipes on your own. If you think more than one pipe may be frozen or if you aren’t sure where or if a pipe is, call a professional. There’s a lot on the line if a pipe bursts.

1. Identify frozen pipes

Identifying frozen pipes is usually straight forward. Frost on a pipe (outside or inside) is a good indication that it’s frozen. If your water suddenly starts flowing at a trickle or stops flowing suddenly, you could be dealing with a frozen pipe. Start at the faucet and work your way back along a pipe until you find evidence that it’s frozen.

2. Act quickly

If your pipe is freezing or frozen, never think that you’ll deal with it in the morning. Water freezes when it expands. This pressure puts tremendous strain on pipes. It can even burst them, punching straight through the metal. Burst pipes are a huge expense for homeowners. Water damage grows rapidly, and replacing pipes isn’t cheap. There’s too much at stake to wait.

3. Run the water

If the pipe isn’t frozen solid, open the facet and let water trickle out. Moving the water will help prevent it from freezing. Warmer water moving against the ice will also help it to thaw. Additionally, having the faucet on will help reduce the internal pressure of the pipe. The expanding ice can extend down the pipe instead of bursting it. If the pipe has frozen enough that no water can flow, open the faucet anyway. As you thaw the pipe, that water can flow out the faucet rather than adding to the pressure in the pipe.

4. Turn on a hair dryer

Once you’ve opened the faucet, get a hair dryer. This simple tool does wonders to quickly and safely heat up a pipe. Start at your faucet and slowly work your way back along the pipe. A dryer’s high setting will heat frozen pipes quickly and safely. Monitor the open faucet for draining water. If you thaw the pipe, you should be able to feel, hear, and see the water flowing normally.

5. Upgrade to a heat lamp

If you need to thaw large portions of pipes, a heat lamp can be a great substitution for a hair dryer. Many kinds of heat lamps, including infrared lamps, work well for this purpose. If possible, put a reflecting object like a cooking sheet behind the pipe. This will capture and reflect heat and light back onto the pipe you want to thaw.

Caring for your frozen pipes is an essential part of home maintenance. Stepping in quickly can prevent frozen pipes from bursting. Focus on letting out the pressure within a pipe, and keep an emergency hair dyer on hand for thawing those tough frozen pipes.