Any Buffalo homeowner who has experienced frozen pipes will tell you they can ruin your day very quickly. Not only do they leave your home without plumbing and access to water, but badly frozen pipes are more likely to burst if they do may burst causing flooding, water damage and mold/mildew growth. Repairing frozen pipes can be costly, so it’s always a smart move to ‘winter-proof’ them to prevent them from eventually bursting and causing permanent damage to your home. One cheap and fast fix that can help if you only have a partial freeze is simply using your pipes often enough so that they don’t get the chance to totally freeze up. This simply entails letting water run through your pipes, even if it’s just at a slow trickle. This is often enough to prevent a full freeze and thaw out ice accumulation.
Now, if one of your pipes does become fully frozen, the best way to fix it is to expose as much of the pipe as you can. This can mean opening kitchen cupboards or a bathroom vanity and exposing those pipes to the warmer air circulating inside the house. In many cases, if the freeze isn’t too bad, the house’s normal warmth may be enough to return the pipes to working order. But for more serious freezes, you may need to enlist the help of a portable space heater or even a
There are also some specialized tools available that may also be used to fight frozen pipes. One such option is a wraps that goes around the pipe itself and provides adequate insulation or indirect heat to the pipe so that it doesn’t succumb to freezing. Some plumbing supply companies also make a heated wire or cable that can be inserted into pipes to directly apply heat to the accumulated ice inside. Pouring rock salt or boiling water into the drain is another proven alternative for some frozen pipe problems.
For deeper, more severe freezes, you may need to remove sections of the pipe, especially the traps, to gain access further into your plumbing. Always start these procedures at the drain area because a build-up of water or steam trapped between chunks of ice can cause pipes to burst.
Frozen pipes are one of the harsh realities of winter. Let Roy’s Plumbing handle all your frozen pipe problems this winter!