How To Check For Frozen Pipes This Winter
As the temperatures drop, let this be your warning sign to prevent frozen pipes in your home. Leaving the issue untreated not only leads to inconveniences (such as a lack of running water) but could cause severe damage to your home. That means a costly bill and highly undesirable living space.
Here, we show you how to check for frozen pipes this winter. In addition, we’ve outlined some preventative measures – along with advice on what to do if damage has been caused.
What are frozen pipes?
When the excess cold water in your plumbing system falls below a certain temperature, it can make the pipes freeze.
What are the common causes of frozen pipes?
Extremely cold weather can lead to water freezing in your plumbing system. Exposed pipes – or pipes that are under flooring or in basements – are particularly vulnerable to freezing. Failing to get these insulated is a common cause of frozen pipes.
How to check for frozen pipes
Here’s a few common signs of frozen pipes to look out for in those cold winter months:
- Little or no running water
- Visible frosting on your pipes
- Odd or unpleasant smells coming from faucets or drains
- Faulty or broken boiler
If you notice one of these signs, we recommend checking for the other remaining signs to help determine if your pipes are frozen.
How to prevent frozen pipes
Preventing the issue before it wreaks havoc in your home is the best way to go. Here’s a few measures you can take to get ahead and stop your pipes from freezing:
- Insulate pipes and water tanks where possible
- Regularly check your boiler is in full working order
- Repair dripping taps and fixtures to prevent excess water collecting in your pipes
- If your home is likely to be unoccupied for long periods in cold weather, consider draining all water from your system and turning off the stopcock
Can frozen pipes cause damage?
In worst-case scenarios, the freezing water in your pipes can expand to breaking point – literally. This can cause a burst pipe, potentially leading to internal flooding and extensive water damage inside the home. The secondary water damage can lead to staining, bad odour, and massive disruption to living conditions.
If you experience burst pipes, turn off the water supply immediately and contact a qualified plumber or specialist water leak detection and restoration company.
How Rainbow International can help
Suffered a burst pipe in your home? It’s likely you’ll experience water damage as a result, which can lead to unsafe, unhygienic and unliveable conditions in affected areas of your home. In this case, you can contact Rainbow International for help.
With over 25 years of experience in water damage restoration, our experts will work quickly and efficiently to return your home to its pre-incident condition – with minimal disruption to you. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we’re ready and waiting whenever you need us. Find out more about our services online.
Frequently asked questions
Will frozen pipes thaw on their own?
Frozen pipes can thaw on their own, depending on the outside temperature.
Can frozen pipes thaw without bursting?
Yes. Cracked pipes from thawing usually occur when too much heat is applied to the frozen part of the pipe. Avoid this, and you can often thaw a frozen pipe without it bursting.
How long does it take for pipes to unfreeze?
Naturally thawing the pipes in your home will take varying lengths of time depending on the outside temperature. However, there are techniques to speed the process up. Always consult expertise before doing so.
Will pouring boiling water down the drain unfreeze pipes?
In some cases, this will help to unfreeze pipes. Be wary not to pour freshly boiled water down the drain, as this could crack the pipe. Wait for a minute or two after boiling.