Emergency Plumbing Phoenix: Frozen Pipes | Chas Roberts

Plumbing Catastrophe: Frozen Pipes

It’s crazy to think that even in the Valley of the Sun, temperatures can drop so low that pipes are prone to freezing! Emergency plumbing Phoenix situations can happen to anyone. Learn the signs of frozen pipes and how to prevent them to avoid this winter season catastrophe.

Why It Happens

During the winter, water that freezes in an unprotected pipe expands, causing tremendous pressure in the pipe. This pressure causes a slight crack at a joint or section of pipe, giving way to a small leak that expands, and like a dam breaking, water gushes into your home causing a plumbing repair Phoenix disaster.

How to ID Frozen Pipes

You’ll know you have a frozen pipe when you go to turn on a faucet and only a slow trickle of water flows out or nothing at all; the frozen water is acting like a plug in your pipe. Upon inspection, you may notice your pipe has swollen like a snake right after its dinner.

How to Thaw

It’s time to bring the heat to those pipes…but do it safely of course. If you can reach it and are confident in your plumbing skills, take a towel or burlap bag and wrap it securely around the frozen section of pipes. Be sure to place a bucket or bin underneath the pipe, and then pour hot or boiling water over the fabric. Be careful not to scald yourself!

Another option is to use a space heater, hair dryer, or heat lamp to help thaw the frozen chunk of pipe. Avoid using a propane torch or something similar is a dreadful idea as this could present a large fire and safety risk.

Worst Case Scenario: Burst Pipes

Uh oh, busted! To witness your home’s version of Old Faithful spewing all over your basement is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. For this emergency plumbing Phoenix scenario, the best thing to do is call your plumber. In the meantime, minimize flooding by following these steps.

  1. Shut off water to that section of the house (or the whole house if that’s the only option) to prevent further water damage and a larger mess.
  2. Remove as much water as possible with mops/buckets/towels.
  3. Prevent dreaded mildew and mold by running a dehumidifier in the space to dry the area out faster.

How to Prevent

It’s important to take action before temperatures drop below freezing.

  1. Insulate both hot and cold pipes with pipe sleeves or heat tape, especially those exposed to the elements.
  2. Allow cold water to drip in exposed pipes when the weather gets especially cold to prevent it from freezing.
  3. If you are going on vacation or will be away, leave your thermostat above 55° F (at least). Paying your heating bill will be immensely cheaper in the long run.

If you have a plumbing emergency or questions about how to thaw frozen pipes, contact your plumbing repair Phoenix pros or call 602.943.3426 (Phoenix) or 520.292.6858 (Tucson) to speak with a specialist. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook!