In most homes in the US, at least one plumber faces the daunting task of resolving frozen pipes. This is large because most houses have them, and they are not usually detected until a problem arises. A frozen pipe occurs when the temperature inside a pipeline body becomes freezing, sometimes to the point where the liquid inside can freeze. To prevent leaks and bursts, it’s important to recognize the signs of this problem, so you can have it repaired before it becomes an expensive repair.
For many people, pipes that freeze can cause water damage to the foundation of the house. If the freezing takes hold for more than a few days, walls can begin to crack, and pipes themselves can break. This can make it difficult or even impossible to heat or cool your home effectively, causing utility bills to skyrocket. This can mean big bucks lost each month for those who rely on natural gas or propane to heat their homes.
Some homeowners are tempted to call a plumber to fix frozen pipes, but in most cases, this is a bad idea. Frozen pipes are rarely safe to operate under the circumstances, and if you do attempt to fix them, chances are you will cause more damage than good. First of all, working on a frozen pipe without the proper tools can be hazardous. This is because working with ice can damage your hand quite easily. The result could be frostbite, or worse, death.
When pipes are thawed, it is important to remember that some substances, such as oil or antifreeze, can be hazardous if inhaled. While they may seem harmless when they are still liquid, the consequences tend to become much worse as the substance starts to solidify. Once it solidifies, it becomes much harder to treat, and so it is critical to make sure that the liquid inside the pipes does not cause damage if a rupture does occur. Once the liquid inside a frozen pipe has started to solidify, it requires a Plumbing Grand Rapids professional’s assistance to remove it before it causes damage to the home. Otherwise, you could end up having major problems with your home’s plumbing system.
To safely operate inside a house while your pipes are frozen, it is important to remember that they are most likely in a very shallow state. This means that they are much more susceptible to freezing again once they have been freed from the confines of your home. A common way to loosen pipes that have been frozen for a period of time is to turn the water off and then plug the pipes with a rag, allowing the water to drain itself. However, in some cases, plugging the pipes can cause the problem to worsen.
To unfreeze pipes while still in good working order, it is important to use the right equipment. Typically, you would need a pair of heavy-duty professional pliers, which you likely keep in your home. These pliers are designed to grip the pipe edges and are capable of making the process quite difficult. After you have removed the initial amount of liquid stuck on your pipes, you should work your way towards freeing them up. The best method is to work around the pipe’s perimeter and make sure that you loosen every clog you can.
One of the best ways to free up your pipe is to work from the outside inwards. Plumbers are not always able to get into houses protected by walls, so if you have an interior wall, you can often open it up and work on the pipe that runs through it without dealing with any liquids or gases that are trapped inside. If the pipe is on the exterior, however, you might need to use a different approach. Often, you can cut a large hole in an exterior wall and pump the liquid up through the holes.
One thing to remember about opening frozen pipes is that you do not want to force the issue. Even if you have an adult child in the house who can unscrew a pipe, it is generally a good idea to let the individual perform this task before you do. This is because you do not want the child or anyone else in the house to get hurt if they are improperly holding the pipe. You can avoid serious injury by letting the professional handle this job. If you are trying to take care of an older child, you should also let them perform this task before opening the pipes on your own.