The cold, the snow, the ice. Snow and ice can cause pipes in your home to freeze, leading to a variety of issues such as clogged drains, broken pipes, and even electrical fires. Frozen pipes are an absolute nightmare. When the temperatures drop below freezing your water can turn into a solid block, preventing you from using it until it thaws out. This causes a lot of frustration and expense, so taking care of frozen pipes is important.
If your home pipes freeze, follow these steps to help avoid problems
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent pipe breaks and water damage caused by freezes.
1.Turn off the main water valve at the wall (not under the sink faucet).
2. Shut off the water supply to your entire home by turning off or removing a shutoff valve in a convenient location (near either side of your fireplace or in the basement, for example).
3. Make sure all fireplaces are out and all chimneys are open.
4. Make sure that your heater has been turned off and deactivated/unplugged so it doesn’t continue to heat up flooded pipes that may freeze later
5. Clear any snow from around downspouts, gutters and downspout extensions if you have them, then make sure they’re empty of any debris.
How to know if you need a plumber or not
If you notice your water supply has been shut off, the first step to taking care of the problem is to determine whether it’s due to a frozen pipe or not. If water has been running out of your faucets slowly, it could be because of ice buildup inside the pipes, but if you are noticing no water coming out at all, then it’s most likely because of a frozen pipe in your home.
First, look for any signs that could indicate whether a pipe might have frozen over, such as discoloration on the outside of your faucets. After discoloration, check the walls and floors around where you would normally find leaks.
Frozen pipes can be caused by many different things and should always be taken seriously. If you hear a loud thud coming from the basement, or if you notice an unusual amount of condensation on the walls, it may be time to call a professional to fix the issue.
Keep your pipes from freezing
Frozen pipes are a common problem during winter. They’re caused by water that’s been turned off and left to freeze, which can cause damage to wiring and insulation. To make sure your home’s pipes don’t freeze, keep the water running while you’re not in the house. Make sure there is an alternative heating source near your home, such as a furnace or stove. If you have a propane tank in the basement, make sure it has enough gas to run for at least 24 hours if the power goes out.
Here are 4 tips on how to prevent frozen pipes in your home:
1) Prevent any drafts
2) Keep any space under sinks, cabinets, or in bathrooms that could trap cold air
3) Insulate pipes that are exposed to cold outside conditions
4) Install a drain trap before installing a new faucet
Do pipes freeze at -5?
NO. Pipes at -5 are typically buried and not subject to freezing, except when they are located in a basement. If the pipes are running under ground and are not exposed to freezing temperatures, then pipes can run up to -20 F without being damaged.
How Cold Does It Have to Get for Pipes to Freeze?
If you have a well-insulated house and inside temperature of 50 °F, the outside temperature can get down to -32 °F. That’s cold enough to freeze pipes in an hour or so. But if you have poorly insulated pipes, you might have frozen water lines by the time it gets down to -10 °F.
In order for pipes to freeze, the temperature must drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0C. That is when the water freezes into solid ice. Since the water will not begin to freeze until that point, there needs to be a significant drop in temperature before it will start freezing. This usually happens during a cold snap when temperatures drop below freezing. If you leave your pipes running overnight with no interruption of the flow, they can become frozen as soon as they are filled with water and exposed to cold air.
The danger of frozen pipes is that they can burst and flood your home!
Frozen water pipes are a real problem. When the water pressure is lost, your pipes lose the ability to circulate the water through them. When that happens, the cold water in your pipe freezes onto everything it touches: The capillary action takes over and moisture is pulled out of all the little pores in your pipes and into your walls. This is how frozen pipes begin. The result is serious damage to your walls and ceilings as well as severe decay that can ruin your entire home if not fixed quickly.
Get a help from a licensed plumber
A burst pipe is a disaster waiting to happen. Preventing it requires a little bit of preparation. A licensed plumber will help you prepare your home for a burst pipe by repairing and maintaining your plumbing system, such as replacing worn-out pipes and adding insulation.
Frozen pipes happen sometimes, especially when the temperature drops below freezing. They are caused by water slowly leaking out of the pipe and freezing on its way out. Fixing a frozen pipe is relatively easy if you know how to fix it, but if you are not sure, it’s always better to call a professional.