Just like you put on warm coats and scarves to protect yourself from cold winter temperatures, it is important that you shield your pipes from the cold. Water expands when it freezes, which can cause serious problems for water supply lines in commercial plumbing systems. If your pipes are not inside a heated space, including being properly insulated and covered, the frozen water can create major pressure and ultimately lead to cracks, leaks, or bursts.
Are My Building’s Pipes in Danger?
In general, the pipes that are directly exposed to extreme cold weather are more susceptible to freezing and causing damage. It’s important that you protect your pipes early on, ideally before the winter weather begins to bring the temperature down.
The following types of pipes are most vulnerable to freezing:
- Water sprinkler lines
- Outdoor hoses
- Plumbing in unheated interiors, such as in the basement, garage, attic, etc.
- Outdoor pipes with no insulation or heat tape
If left unnoticed, frozen water pipes can cause major leaks and catastrophes. Just one rupture can cause a building to lose four to eight gallons of water a minute, costing thousands of dollars in burst pipe repairs and property damage. So take the proper steps to preserve your pipes.
Here’s how to prevent frozen pipes:
- › Insulate your exterior pipes and use heat tape, which will reduce the chance of water in pipes freezing.
- Allow small amounts of water to run through your faucets constantly to keep the water moving.
- Open the cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to heat your pipes.
- Seal exterior door openings with weather stripping.
- Detach, drain, and store garden hoses for the winter.
Frozen Pipe Repair Near Me
Mr. Rooter understands how important it is to keep your business’s plumbing flowing. Call on a certified plumber you can trust. We are well-versed on the best frozen pipe services, including replacement and repair techniques to reduce or avoid damage. Plus, we are available 24/7 to help! You can request a job estimate online or call us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to tell if pipes are frozen:
It’s important that you know how to identify frozen pipes so that you can help prevent a burst or other damage. Signs of frozen pipes include:
- Water coming through a wall or ceiling
- Pipes covered in ice
- Low water pressure
- Damp drywall
- Unusual sounds and odors coming from your pipes
How to thaw your pipes:
While you may experience a variety of issues caused by frozen pipes, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the freeze is. Most pipes behind building walls are hard to access. However, exterior pipelines may be easier to diagnose and treat. If you do find a frozen pipe, try these tips to get the water flowing again.
- Keep the faucets open while you warm the pipes. This will allow water will trickle out while the ice thaws, reducing pressure inside the pipes.
- Apply heat to the frozen pipe. This can be done using a hair dryer, a space heater, warm towels, or a heating pad.
- Continue to apply heat to the pipes until the ice melts and water pressure is restored.
Do frozen pipes always burst?
No, a frozen pipe will not always burst. And in fact, thawing the ice inside the pipe increases the risk of bursting because it increases the pressure in the pipe. So it’s best to ask a licensed plumber to assist with thawing frozen pipes.
Can pipes be replaced while frozen?
Replacing frozen pipes before they are thawed is possible, but it’s not always the best course of action. Allowing the ice to thaw and turning on the water supply provides the opportunity to inspect all water supply lines for leaks and cracks.