Watch for the Signs of Freezing Pipes to Prevent Burst Pipes
Consumer Reports reveals some troubling things about frozen pipes. The publication notes that frozen pipes not only cause problems throughout the home but, without proper care, they can burst. The damage from burst pipes can be costly in repair costs and property replacement expenses. This blog discusses three common signs of frozen pipes that homeowners can be on the lookout for.
Little to No Water Coming Out of the Faucets
When someone turns on the faucet, it should dispense water appropriately. When little to no water comes out of the tap in the winter, this could point to frozen pipes because frozen water in a line prevents water from flowing or passing through at its average speed and pressure.
Ice inside of a pipe is a time-sensitive matter. It’s not like other obstructions (like hair and food residue) that can fester for weeks before resulting in a severe clog. Water expands when it freezes, which can exert too much pressure on a pipe, causing it to break or burst.
So if a homeowner notices that little to no water comes out of a faucet, they should consult a professional plumber immediately. In the meantime, they can consider turning up the heat in the house, leaving a tap dripping, or opening cabinet doors to allow the heat to reach the pipes better.
Frost or Ice Appears on the Exterior of Pipes
Another sign of frozen pipes is ice or frost visible on the outside of pipes. During the winter, many homeowners need to remember to insulate the pipes outside or in colder areas of their homes, like garages, crawlspaces, or basements, and prevent cold air from entering the plumbing through outdoor plumbing. For instance, the faucet that connects to the hose and faucets that connect to sprinkler systems, pools, and fountains can freeze and let cold air inside the plumbing.
If ice or frost appears on an exposed faucet or pipe, one can assume that the water inside is frozen too. To prevent outdoor lines from freezing or allowing cold air inside the plumbing, a homeowner should:
- Remove the hose and store it indoors
- Place a brass cap on the outdoor faucet’s opening
- Disconnect any sprinklers
- Address any automatic sprinklers
- Drain any pools or fountains
The Bathroom Smells Like Sewage
If the bathroom or home smells like sewage, a homeowner may immediately assume a clog or sewage backup. However, this could actually point to frozen sewer lines or a backup of sewage due to freezing. When a sewer pipe and its contents freeze, waste can’t effectively travel through the plumbing system and away from home, so it remains stuck in the system and travels the other way.
A frozen sewer pipe is no laughing matter. If unaddressed, the smell could worsen over time, and waste could back up in the line. If homeowners notice the warning signs, they should contact a professional immediately before the home and plumbing suffer serious damage.
About Master Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling
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