What Causes Pipes to Freeze?
Frozen pipes are the last thing you want to deal with in Winter, making the cold weather so much more unbearable. If the environment you live in has a temperature that can significantly drop in Winter, you may want to watch out for frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can entirely stop the flow of water through your home, meaning cold baths and showers in the midst of Winter which no one wants to go through. It is estimated that for pipes to freeze, the temperature must drop below -6 degrees celsius for around 6 hours. If you leave your home to visit family and friends during Winter, or do not routinely use heat or hot water, your pipes could freeze quicker than.
How to Check if You Have Frozen Pipes?
If you turn on the tap and no water comes out, chances are you have a frozen pipe. Check the taps in your bathroom and around your home, are any other taps working, or is the issue in one specific area? Look out for signs of leaks around your property also, as this could be behind a loss of water pressure. Check for an exposed pipe which may be dripping water or have icicles formed around it – this suggests you have a leaking pipe. If after searching you think your pipe is just frozen and not burst, you can now begin gently warming the pipe.
How to Unfreeze a Pipe
As soon as you have discovered your pipes are frozen, you will need to begin releasing the pressure which has been building within your pipes. The sooner you begin this process, the higher chance of success. Thawing frozen pipes which have been frozen for a long time, are much more likely to fracture and cause leaks. Turning your tap on ever so slightly, can help begin to release the water. After releasing the water, grab a hair dryer, some hot towels and begin gently heating the area. Do not use an open flame or boiling water for obvious safety reasons. If the bathroom gets particularly cold in winter, try placing a portable heater in the space periodically, to help prevent freezing pipes.
Exposed pipes, like the ones under your sink are much easier to unfreeze, as they are more accessible. Thawing pipes within the structure of your home is a much more demanding task, requiring the help of a professional. An amteur undertaking this task could end up injuring themselves or causing unnecessary damage to your walls or floor. If you have tried every method possible to bring your pipes back to life and have had little to no luck, it is possible you may have had a burst pipe as result of cold weather.
When pipes become cold or frozen, the chance of them bursting or leaking is much higher. As pipes go from one extreme in temperature to the other, this can damage the pipes and cause splintering. In the process of trying to unfreeze pipes, this can also result in a leak forming, as the plastic can be easily damaged by open heat sources like hair dryers or electric heaters. If you notice a loss of pressure throughout your home and a presence of damp on walls and floors, it is possible you have a burst or leaking pipe. Tell tale signs such as wet spots, water around radiators all suggest you have a leaking pipe. In the event of a leak, contacting a specialist immediately cna help prevent the situation worsening. Leak detection experts from Aspect, can find and fix a leak, no matter what the cause. Using non-invasive methods, experts are able to treat leaks with little to no damage to your home, unlike traditional methods of leak detection which require removing carpets and floorboards.