Winters in Chicago can be long and tough on your property, especially your pipes. Heavy snowfalls and drops in temperatures can affect one of the most essential things on your property, and if these pipes freeze, it can lead to disaster. Therefore, you need to know what to do and who to call if you notice that your pipes are frozen. Keep reading to discover more and ways that will potentially help you save thousands of dollars in damages.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
In some cases, frozen pipes can be difficult to notice, especially before they burst. However, you need to notice the signs of frozen pipes before they become a serious issue. Here are some of the most common signs of frozen pipes:
- Bulging Pipes: When the water in the pipes freezes, the molecules in the water expand. This causes a huge amount of pressure that will make the pipe bulge.
- Condensation and Cracks in the Pipe – If you have noticed a crack in the surface of the pipe and or a concerning amount of condensation covering it, this may be a sign your pipes are frozen.
- Limited Water – Is your toilet taking ages to refill? Is barely any water coming out when you go to brush your teeth? A lack of running water is one of the primary signs your pipes are frozen.
- Gurgling Sounds – If your pipes weren’t making any noises throughout the warmer months, but when it’s colder out, your pipes start making gurgling or banging noises, it could mean that you have ice traveling through them.
- Foul Smelling Water – A strong smell similar to sewage from your faucets typically means that the sewer line is freezing.
How Quickly Do Pipes Freeze?
Especially during the winter, you have to make sure that you are checking your pipes constantly. Pipes don’t take long periods to freeze as they can, depending on the temperature, in as little as 8 hours. If the temperature outside is below 32 ℉ and you have no protection on your outdoor pipes, there is a significant chance they will freeze. Pipes indoors are typically more protected, and the temperature needs to drop below 20℉ for freezing.
What Should You Do if Your Pipes are Frozen
Frozen pipes are a serious issue as not only can they cost you thousands due to damages, but they can harm you or anyone else inside the property. While calling a professional plumber should be the 1st thing you do, a few more things can help minimize damage.
- First, you will need to shut off the water and slightly open any faucets connected to the frozen pipe. Doing this will significantly reduce any pressure on the frozen pipes, minimizing any flooding should the pipe burst. It’s always a good idea to do this if you are leaving home for an extended period, even if you don’t have a suspicion your pipes will be affected.
- If you can easily see and reach the frozen pipe, you can use a hair dryer to thaw any ice blockage. DO NOT use an open flame when trying to de-thaw pipes.
- Examine any pipes that you can see for potential leaks. Yes, even with the water turned off, there will be sufficient pressure to show any leaks once the pipe has completely thawed.
- The most important step is this one, contact a professional plumber immediately. While some pipes are easy to access, quite a few are within your reach and can only be safely accessed by a plumber. Additionally, for the safest solution, a plumber is trained to expertly de-thaw your pipes using specialized equipment to get your pipes flowing again. They will also repair any necessary damages.
Sometimes, there may be no leaks after your plumber has de-thawed your pipes and got your water flowing again. However, your plumbing specialists will thoroughly examine the pipes that froze. Some pipes may need to be replaced due to stretching and fatigue to avoid the risk of failing in the future.
Will Pipes Thaw on Their Own?
As the weather warms up, your pipes can technically thaw on their own. However, leaving them to do so carries significant risk. By waiting for the pipe to de-thaw, water can get caught between the ice and facet, increasing pressure in the pipe and leading to a burst pipe. While it might be an unexpected cost, calling a professional plumber will save you hundreds, if not thousands, in the long run!
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Even taking the smallest precautions will have a powerful impact on keeping your pipes from freezing this upcoming winter. You can help prevent frozen pipes by:
- Using insulation to help keep interior pipes above 20℉
- Draining exterior water lines to prevent pressure in the pipes
- Use a space heater in uninsulated areas or during harsh cold fronts.
- Keeping faucets open just a tiny bit while temperatures are close to freezing
- Shut off the water and slightly open the taps when going away for extended periods during the winter
Getting Ready for the Long Chicago Winter with Arco Plumbing
Are you worried about your pipes freezing this winter and want to avoid any damages or risks to your safety? Then you need to call a professional plumbing agency like Arco Plumbing! They have over three decades of experience handling situations like these. They know every trick to help save your plumbing system, home, or commercial building.
Calling an expert to come to your home before it gets too cold is highly beneficial. They will come and complete a thorough inspection of your pipes and locate any possible areas that may be prone to freezing during the winter. Then, they can provide a complete solution that fits your budget and protects your property during the harsh drop in temperature.
Contact Arco Plumbing for Help with Frozen Pipes in Chicago
Have your pipes frozen in Chicago or Chicagoland? Then contact Arco Plumbing. Their team will quickly answer your call and arrive at your destination to provide a solution. Frozen pipes are a serious issue that needs to be handled promptly; therefore, when you notice the signs mentioned above, do not hesitate and immediately contact Arco Plumbing.
Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by Arco Plumbing Services