Frozen / Broken Pipes
Frozen Pipes & Broken Pipes
Living in Colorado, we often endure some bitter-cold winters which can bring frozen pipes and emergency plumbing situations. Exposed water pipes and fittings are vulnerable to freezing during cold winter temperatures. Water directed through non-insulated pipes within exterior walls or crawl spaces can freeze during extreme cold spells. As water freezes it expands and can potentially burst, allowing hundreds of gallons of water to rush into your home, causing significant damage to floors, carpets, walls, furniture, and other belongings. If you have a frozen pipe that has burst, shut off the water main valve and call McAdams Plumbing for quick response to minimize the flooding and damage to your home. We will dispatch our expert service technician to repair the pipe and get your plumbing system back up and running in no time.
McAdams Plumbing recommends you take preventive measures to avoid frozen pipes by ensuring sure that all exposed water lines are properly insulated before temperatures drop. A primary defense is using pipe insulation such as heat tape, foam rubber sleeves, or fiberglass. We can inspect your pipes and insulate them if necessary.
We also recommend another defense mechanism that can protect your home from frozen pipes and flooding:
- WaterCop Automatic Water Shutoff System. An automatic water shutoff system, which consists of an automatic valve and a network of flood and temperature sensors to shut off water flow in your plumbing lines when necessary to avoid flooding.
McAdams Plumbing offers this product and is certified to install it in your home. Call us today to discuss how WaterCop can protect your home from major water damage.
Do-It-Yourself Pipe Thawing
You may be able to thaw your frozen pipes before an emergency arises. First, identify which pipe is frozen. You’ll know a pipe is frozen if on a faucet and no water comes out or only trickles out. Follow the pipe from the non-working faucet and search for any sections in which appears to have frost or exterior ice. If you feel the pipe, the frozen section will be much colder than other areas. Look closely at the section for any bulges and feel for cracks. If there is a crack, you will need to call McAdams Plumbing for repair.
If you’ve escaped a pipe break so far, you may be able to thaw it out – even without having to tear out walls or paneling. Simply crank up the heat in your home to a higher setting and wait. You can also direct a heat lamp, space heater, or infrared heat lamp at the section of wall where the pipe is located. Be careful not to place heat lamps too close to the wall or unattended, they may cause spontaneous fires. Leave your faucet in the “on” position, and once you hear running water, you’ll know the pipe is thawing.
If the frozen pipe is located outside your home, or if it’s otherwise exposed, do not turn off the water supply to your home before you begin thawing the frozen pipe. You also should start the thawing process from the tap back to the frozen section. If you begin thawing behind the ice, the water that’s released will have nowhere to go because it will still be blocked by ice in the frozen pipe.