Even if you haven’t experienced it yourself, you know that frozen pipes are bad news. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water in your pipes can freeze, which can lead to problems ranging from no water supply to severe damage to your plumbing system.
If you’re concerned about the possibility that your pipes may have frozen, contact the team at Craftsman Plumbing. We’ve been serving the Seattle area since 2014, providing solutions to all of our customers’ plumbing needs. Our experienced team knows what to do to get your water flowing again, no matter what the temperature.
How Do Pipes Freeze?
Even when you’re not running an appliance or using your faucets, your pipes are constantly full of water to prevent excess air from getting trapped in your plumbing system. However, in cold temperatures, that water can freeze surprisingly quickly.
Because water expands as it freezes, frozen pipes tend to burst. This can lead to catastrophic damage to your home, as thousands of gallons can leak from a single burst pipe. Not only is the damage usually extensive, it can make your home uninhabitable until the damage is repaired-which can take weeks.
Repairing a Frozen Pipe
If you suspect you have a frozen pipe, your first step should be to lower the pressure in your plumbing system by turning off your water main. This will help keep excess pressure from building up behind the frozen blockage, lowering your risk of a burst pipe, or cutting off the water that may be flowing out of an already damaged line.
While you may be tempted to try and locate the frozen portion of pipe yourself, it’s best to leave the job to the professionals at Craftsman Plumbing. Trying to clear a frozen pipe can actually make the situation worse. Even if you avoid direct heat, like a flame or a torch, thawing a pipe with a hairdryer or heating pad won’t solve the problem. Because your pipe is likely already damaged, you need to have it inspected before turning on your water main.
Instead, your best option is to contact a licensed and insured plumber, like the team at Craftsman Plumbing. Our technicians will not only get your water flowing again, but they’ll also be able to help you keep your pipes from freezing in the future. And with their years of experience, our plumbers will be able to spot any damage to your pipes that may have occurred, even if the pipes haven’t yet developed a leak.
If your pipe does burst, or we notice other damage to your plumbing, we’ll discuss your options for repairing the damage. With our up-front pricing policy, you’ll know exactly how much the job will cost before we start—that means no surprise fees once the job is done. Once you and our technician agree, we’ll get to work repairing your plumbing.
Preventing a Frozen Pipe
The biggest culprit in frozen pipes is exposure to the elements. This means pipes that are outdoors, water supply lines that run through unheated portions of your home, such as a crawlspace, or pipes in poorly insulated (or uninsulated) walls. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances that these lines might freeze.
The first step is making sure any pipes at risk of freezing are properly insulated. There are a number of products available at hardware and plumbing supply stores, but you should also consider having one of our plumbers handle insulating your pipes. We’ll make sure we choose the right materials, and that the insulation gets installed properly to provide maximum protection.
Another important step is to ensure your home stays properly heated. Some families, when they’re at work or on vacation, choose to lower the heat in their home in order to conserve energy. While this is a fine strategy, you should avoid setting your home’s thermostat below 50 to 55 degrees. Any lower than this, and you run the risk that your pipes might freeze.
Finally, if the temperatures drop and you’re concerned about freezing pipes, you can turn on a slow trickle of hot and cold water from your faucets. This keeps the water flowing through your plumbing system and helps prevent ice from forming.
Local, Reliable Plumbers
When cold weather hits, don’t let the possibility of freezing pipes keep you up at night. Contact Craftsman Plumbing, and we’ll help you prevent and repair frozen pipes. We have a team available 24/7, so when you have a plumbing emergency, we’ll be there to respond, night and day.