Why Is My Water Pipe Frozen?

Why Is My Water Pipe Frozen?

March 19, 2019

No homeowner wants to turn on their faucets in the middle of winter and be met with a slow trickle of water or no water at all. There are no surer signs than these that a section of your plumbing is frozen. Not only is this inconvenient, it’s the precursor to a burst pipe—a much bigger and costlier problem to solve! Acting fast and calling for plumbing services in Shreveport, LA can help you avoid a much larger debacle with your plumbing this winter.

Understanding Frozen Pipes

Frozen plumbing occurs when temperatures drop below freezing and your exposed plumbing isn’t insulated enough. Metal segments of plumbing are especially at risk, since metal is greatly affected by temperature. Even PVC plumbing can freeze, though, given the right decline in temperatures.

When pipes freeze, the plumbing itself isn’t necessarily frozen—the water within it is. If you haven’t turned on your faucets for a while, stagnant water especially can freeze in place. When it does, it’ll expand, building pressure in the pipe. Once this pressure reaches its peak… crack! You’ll have a burst pipe.

In some cases—such as with older plumbing—a pipe burst is less dramatic. Instead, it’s more of a crack that gets worse. Expanding ice can open cracks in plumbing that stay stable while the ice is frozen, but begin leaking when it retracts. When water flow is restored to the pipe, you’re left with major leaks that need to be resolved fast.

How to prevent frozen plumbing

There are several ways to lower the chances of encountering frozen plumbing within your home. Taking heed of even one or two of these tips could save you a very costly call for plumbing services in Shreveport, LA. Here’s what to do:

  • • Have all exposed plumbing insulated. You can do this by yourself or call a plumber to do it for you. Often, it involves wrapping plumbing in fitted insulation. It should be done for all pipes in your basement, attic or plumbing closets.
  • • If you’re due for a cold snap, open all of the taps in your home very slightly, to allow a slow trickle or drip of water out. This will keep water moving, making it less likely to freeze overnight.
  • • If you see a pipe that’s looking a little frosty, soak a towel in hot water and apply it to the pipe. Better still, use a warmed blanket to insulate it. This can kick the temperature up a few degrees to downplay any freezing.
  • • If you’re going out of town or won’t be home for a cold snap, turn off your main water shutoff and empty your plumbing by turning on the taps. Your pipes can’t freeze and burst if there’s nothing in them!

Above all, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for plumbing services in Shreveport, LA if you’ve found a frozen section of plumbing or you have reason to believe your plumbing is in danger of freezing. A professional solution is the best one—especially if it means avoiding burst or leaking pipes when the temperature starts to go back up.

Categorised in: