Every year in Denver, numerous people suffer thousands of dollars in damages due to water damage from pipes that have frozen and ruptured. Often their calls for emergency plumbing come too late, as the damage has already taken place.
When water turns to ice, it expands and occupies more space. Because your pipes are already filled with water, there isn’t any room available so it begins to exert pressure on the pipe itself amounting to over 2,000 pounds per square inch. That is more than enough to rupture any pipe, and can result in several hundred gallons of water being spilled per hour.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
It should go without saying that in this case, just as with many others, prevention is better than cure. The best way to avoid frozen pipes is to identify the areas of your home that are exposed to low temperatures, then take steps to insulate the pipes there using electrical heat tape or foam insulation wrap.
In a bind, you could even rig a workable insulation from newspaper or fabric, or just call our plumbing service.
The areas of your home that are most at risk are the basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms, and outside walls. Any pipes in these areas could be susceptible to freezing when the temperature drops, so keep an eye open and check them regularly. Also if you feel a particular pipe is at high risk, you could leave the tap on so that water trickles through – granted it is a bit of a waste, but flowing water will prevent freezing.
Last but certainly not least – you need to know where your water mains are so that you can turn them off immediately if your pipes are damaged.
Identifying a Frozen Pipe
Once you suspect a pipe is frozen, to identify exactly where the blockage is located you’ll need to follow the water supply pipe back from the tap itself. Be sure to pay close attention to the parts that run through cold areas and look for frosting on the outside of the pipes.
Should the pipe have a ‘bulge’ in it or look slightly fissured, it might be about to rupture and you need emergency plumbing – fast!
When to Call For Emergency Plumbing?
Ideally, you should call us as soon as you suspect that your pipes are frozen. That means that if you turn on a tap and no water flows from it, or only trickles down – you should be giving us a call.
Even though your pipes may not have ruptured as yet and you may want to thaw them on your own, giving us a call so that we can be on standby in case something goes wrong is never a bad idea. That way should a pipe rupture, we can come quickly to help prevent widespread water damage.
Taking the right steps and acting quickly, could help you to save money and avoid hassle. With our experience in dealing with frozen pipes, having us as your ‘go to’ emergency plumbing could make all the difference.