This winter has been very harsh all over the country. Many areas that don’t see cold winters are experiencing freezing temperatures for more than a few days at a time. This means that there are inevitably people that are having their pipes get frozen. Unfortunately, in these areas the houses were not designed for those kinds of temperatures and the heating pipes will freeze and burst.
When a pipe bursts it can ruin your appliances and even your cabinets among other things in your kitchen. If you don’t catch it yourself and it floods your kitchen or other areas of the house, you’ll need to hire a professional like Woodard Cleaning and Restoration. In this article, we will go over what to do if your pipes freeze so you can minimize the damage.
Thaw out the kitchen sink
If you’re lucky, you only have frozen pipes at the kitchen sink. You’re more in control when dealing with frozen domestic water pipes. Heating pipes are more complicated and the burst pipe can be hard to locate.
You’ll know your kitchen sink pipes are frozen when you turn on the faucet and no water comes out. You still run the risk of water flooding when the pipes do eventually thaw out so make sure you get to the problem quickly to avoid more of a mess.
Keep the faucet on so that the water can start to flow once things get thawed while you look for the source of the problem. You could get very lucky and the pipe may just be frozen but not burst yet. The reason why heating pipes often burst when frozen is that the closed-loop of the system leaves the water nowhere to go.
In this case, the water has some space to move around and expand. However, you still need to be careful just in case. The trick here is to find out where the pipes are frozen exactly.
You’ll need access to the pipe so you can literally run your hands over it feeling for the coldest part. When you find the spot that feels coldest, that is likely a plug of ice blocking the drain. Take a hairdryer and warm the pipe up until you see that there is water flowing from the faucet. If the spot is wet then it has likely been burst and you will need to call in a plumber.
The heater pipes
To reduce the damage to your kitchen or other areas of the house, you’ll need to find out if a pipe is burst on your heating pipes. Shut off the water supply to the house to make sure that when the pipes thaw you don’t have an eruption of water spraying everywhere.
Physically inspect the pipes that you can see and note where there is a bulge. You may see exactly where the pipe tear is. If you don’t see any then you should be ok to thaw it out. Get some heating tape that you simply wrap around the pipes. It will slowly melt the ice inside and allow the water to flow.
Then, make sure to check for any areas where a puddle has formed as that means there is a leak there. Then, call in a plumber to replace that section of pipe.