Frozen pipes can be the bane of any home’s plumbing during the cold winter months of the year, however it’s something that many homeowners find themselves dealing with, whether they’ve prepared or not. Frozen pipes present a number of dangerous and costly problems when left unchecked, namely pipes that will burst under pressure or those that will crack and flood, only to freeze over again shortly. There are two steps to dealing with frozen pipes: prevention and proper thawing.
Protecting your pipes
Many times, frozen pipes occur in places that you wouldn’t necessarily think of—such as in a plumbing closet or in the basement of your home. The first mistake that many homeowners make when thinking about protecting their plumbing is to only focus on external plumbing fixtures, such as garden hose hookups. In reality, while these areas are certainly more at risk than others, the real trouble lies inside of your home, in those areas that may not receive adequate heating at all times of the day.
Basements in particular are problem areas for plumbing during the winter because they often feature areas where exposed plumbing is left unprotected. Unless you want to find yourself staring at a frozen cluster of plumbing on a freezing winter day, it’s best to insulate these pipes and any others that aren’t receiving heat from your home’s HVAC system.
Sometimes, even despite your best efforts, frigid temperatures can take their toll on piping. When you notice that your pipes are frozen or you’re having plumbing troubles that suggest frozen pipes, it becomes a matter of necessity to defrost them immediately. But, defrosting your plumbing the wrong way can only lead to more troubles!
There are two proper, reliable ways to heat your plumbing back up to an acceptable temperature and rid yourself of minor frost and ice buildups. The first method is to use a hairdryer or space heater to blow warm air at them. It must be noted that hot air isn’t always a good choice—rather warm or mild air should be used instead. Place your heating source sufficiently away from the pipes and be sure to keep an eye on it at all times. An electrical heat source near a frozen pipe is not something to leave unattended!
The second method for defrosting pipes, which is generally used when there is only a minor case of freezing, is to immediately wrap your piping in heat retaining materials, such as heavy blankets or insulation. When your pipes are all wrapped up and snug, run the water in your home (if you can) and wait for any minor ice chunks to break up within the pipes. Keeping your water moving regularly will keep it from freezing in one spot.
Phone a professional
Keep in mind that both of the methods for pipe thawing in Etobicoke listed above should be used only when the freeze is minor and can be corrected by you. If you uncover a significant frozen section or are having plumbing troubles as a result of cold temperatures, call Rooter Group for professional pipe thawing in Etobicoke—doing so will ensure your safety and the longevity of your plumbing.