While all kinds of plumbing problems can develop at any time, nothing screams winter more than frozen pipes. Frozen pipes aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause some serious damage and multiple problems, which is why frozen pipes need to be repaired right away. There are ways you can help protect your home’s plumbing from the cold, as we’ll outline below, but first, let’s take a look some of the problems frozen pipes can cause.
What Ice Can Do to Piping
It can seem a little incomprehensible that frozen water can crack or break a very strong, durable plumbing pipe – but it can. Why? When water freezes, it crystallizes, which causes it to expand. This expansion inside the pipe causes tremendous stress; with enough stress, the pipe can rupture.
Common Problems from Frozen Pipes
Here are some of the common problems that can develop when pipes freeze:
- Bursting – as touched on above, the stress the ice puts on plumbing can result in the pipe bursting. Burst pipes can lead to serious water damage. Repairing a burst pipe requires cutting out the ruptured area and soldering a fresh piece into the affected area, so the repair takes some time.
- Loss of heating – if the pipes that freeze are part of a hydronic heating system, you could temporarily lose heat.
- Water damage – as mentioned above, burst pipes can cause serious water damage, especially if they aren’t repaired quickly.
- Damage to your plumbing – even if your frozen pipes don’t burst, the stress the ice puts on the piping material can prematurely age your plumbing.
Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes
These are a few suggestions on how you can help avoid frozen pipes occurring in your home during very cold weather:
- Open any cabinetry under sinks to allow the warm air to circulate to the plumbing
- Let the cold water faucet run at a trickle
- Don’t set your thermostat lower than 55 degrees
- Wrap exposed pipes
- Fully drain outside water lines before the winter
- Make sure no plumbing lines run along exterior walls
If you do experience frozen pipes, give us a call and schedule an appointment for our professional plumbing service in Blackfoot, ID. Our skilled plumbers at Advanced Home Services are the people you can trust for all of your plumbing needs.