What to do if your pipes are frozen

In Colorado Springs, if you don’t like the weather, stick around because it will soon change. Living in this city, you hear this old adage over and ov...
Thursday, 07 April 2016

In Colorado Springs, if you don’t like the weather, stick around because it will soon change. Living in this city, you hear this old adage over and over again. But these constant temperature shifts can take a toll on your plumbing. Water flows freely when the weather is warm. But a drop in temperature can cause that lingering water in your pipes to expand and ultimately burst. 

Low flow or no flow of water through pipes

If there has been a recent cold snap, a low flow of water through your faucet could be an indication that your pipes have a blockage. This is also likely if the afflicted pipe(s) are those that abut exterior walls or are located near where your water lines enter your home through the foundation.

Visually check those pipes

Beyond a reduction in water pressure, you may be able to visually see evidence of frozen pipes.

Bulging or distended pipes could be a sign of blockage. Keep in mind though only metal pipes will appear distended. PVC pipes might not react in the same manner. Condensation may show on metal pipes. PVC pipes may be wet due to leakage from joints.

Things you can do to thaw them yourself

Besides panicking, steps to take immediately if your pipes are indeed frozen right now. First and foremost, shut off the water at the source from the house so no more water enters the pipe. It is crucial to reduce the water pressure in your pipes. After closing the incoming water valve, open up all of the faucets in your house. 

Frozen pipes are not yet burst pipes. Minimize potential damage before calling a plumber.

Access the pipes you believe are frozen. Slowly warm up the pipes to reduce the pressure on the pipe. You should use nothing stronger than a hairdryer. Apply gentle heat and warmth to the bulging areas so they thaw slowly. Too much heat can cause the exact bursting incident you are trying to prevent.

After thawing check water pressure

  • Compare the water flow after warming your pipes.
  • Turn back on the main water source and inspect the water pressure.
  • Determine if the pressure is the same as before. If it is, emergency situation is over.

If the pressure is lower than normal, you can assume you still have a frozen pipe, possibly in an inaccessible area. Either way, call in a professional to check for small cracks and/or leaks that may have developed during freezing.

Call us today!

Frozen pipes need immediate attention. Call Pikes Peak Mechanical now for a free consultation over the phone. We have professional pipe thawing equipment and can defrost your pipes and install freeze prevention in one visit. Don’t let another cold snap cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

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