Did you know that in certain parts of the world, it actually gets cold during the winter? It’s true! Not everyone is lucky enough to live in Phoenix. Other people have to deal with snow, ice, wind chill, blizzards, and sub-zero temperatures. They also have to deal with a plumbing problem you may not be familiar with – frozen pipes. In an effort to understand what the rest of the world has to deal with, today we will spend some time learning about frozen pipes.
The Problem with Frozen Pipes
You might be asking yourself, frozen pipes, well why is that such a big deal? It has to do with the peculiar nature of water. When water freezes, it expands. You have probably noticed this before when you were making ice cubes. When water expands inside pipes, it can destroy those pipes, which can put an entire plumbing system at risk. Pipes which are located outside or in unheated walls are more likely than others to freeze and explode.
Steps to Take
Homeowners need to immediately shut off the water source to a pipe if it has already exploded. Otherwise, which the ice thaws and water starts flowing again, flooding will occur. If a pipe has frozen but not exploded, there is still hope. If the frozen pipe is exposed, homeowners should apply direct heat to them to assist in thawing. Hairdryers are a great tool to use. If pipes are located inside a wall, it is time to turn up the heat. If there is a heat lamp handy, point it at the wall to speed up the thawing process.
The best way to keep pipes from exploding, is simply keeping the home temperature above 40 degrees. If a home is going to be empty for the winter, the water supply should be turned off.