Winters in the Atlanta, GA area tend to be much warmer than they are further north. But we still get our share of chilly days, and frozen pipes in the winter are more common than you may think. When they take place, many homeowners aren’t always sure how to deal with them the way homeowners might in Minneapolis or Boston. As with many household problems, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. The more you can anticipate and work to stop frozen pipes before they start, the better off you’ll be.
WHY ARE FROZEN PIPES A PROBLEM?
The immediate issue with frozen pipes is obvious: water won’t move through the pipe and the affected outlet won’t work. But it goes well beyond that. When water turns to ice, it expands, which puts a great deal of pressure on the sides of the pipes. In many cases, the pipes can burst, which sprays water and ice all over the surrounding material and can damage such vital parts of your home as the electrical wiring. Frozen pipes are a nuisance, but burst pipes mean a very expensive emergency repair job.
WHAT TO DO WITH FROZEN PIPES
If you detect frozen pipes in your home, or you suspect you have frozen pipes, leave the affected tap open and turn on any other plumbing outlets in the home as well. If one pipe is frozen there may be other pipes in the home that have suffered the same fate. Then call a plumber to pinpoint the spot of the freeze and slowly thaw the frozen water.
In the event of a burst, things are much direr. Shut the main water valve off to your plumbing to stop the flow of water. Clean up any excess water or ice if you can, and call in a plumber immediately to deal with the problem.
HOW TO STOP THEM BEFORE THEY START
Preventing frozen pipes is a lot easier than dealing with burst pipes, and now is the ideal time to do so. Start by turning off the water to outdoor plumbing such as sprinkler systems, then opening the spigots to drain any remaining water from the pipes. Then look for trouble areas that might lead to frozen pipes, such as exposed pipes (especially in uninsulated parts of the home like the basement or attic) and pipes in walls bordering the outside air. A trained plumber can help spot these danger areas for you, then add pipe insulation or other features intended to keep them from freezing.
On top of that, if you go away for the holidays or during other cold parts of the year, open your faucets just a trickle before you go. The running water will prevent freezing and the slight bump in your water bill will be nothing compared to the expense of burst pipes.
To help prevent your pipes from freezing in the Austell, GA area, or to repair burst pipes swiftly and effectively, call the friendly professional plumbers at Quick Action Plumbers today!