The cold, winter months have settled into Toledo and Northwest Ohio, with temperatures dipping into the single digits and below! With that, one of the major concerns of home and business owners is frozen water pipes. For property owners, it’s important that you understand the types of pipes that are most vulnerable, why they are dangerous, and four signs of frozen water pipes.
The pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing are the ones located along exterior walls of a home or business. This is because they typically do not have adequate insulation around them. One way to lower the chance of these pipes freezing is to pack insulation around them or use foam insulators.
Pipes located in attics or basements may also have a greater tendency to freeze. These pipes may not receive the same amount of heat as the rest of the property. If these areas are not used as living space, they also may not be properly insulated.
Frozen water pipes are dangerous for a couple of reasons. Besides the inconvenience, they can cause major damage to your property. The potential for a water pipe to rupture increases when they freeze. Not only can this create problems inside the house or building, but the water escaping outside can create dangerous, slippery conditions when it freezes.
There are a few clues that we suggest you pay attention to that will help you determine whether or not you have frozen pipes.
No Water Is Coming Out of the Faucet –The first sign that you may have a frozen pipe is when there is a lack of running water. If you turn on a kitchen or bathroom faucet and only a slight trickle of water or no water at all comes out, the water pipe leading to the faucet may be frozen.
There Is Frost on the Pipe – For pipes that can actively be seen, such as those under sinks, you may be able to see frost that has accumulated on the exterior of the pipe. This can serve as a warning sign that the pipe is frozen before you ever try to turn on the faucet.
Strange Smells – Another potential sign of a blocked pipe is an odd smell coming from a faucet or drain. If the pipe is partially or completely blocked, the only way the odor can escape is back up into the sink or toilet.
Sinks aren’t draining – This could mean that the drain pipe is actually frozen. When the weather has been bitter cold, a drain pipe can freeze. If your sinks aren’t flowing properly, this could be the problem, not a clogged pipe.
There are many measures you can take as a home or business owner to reduce the risk of frozen water pipes. However, once you are aware that a pipe is frozen, you must act quickly to thaw the pipe. While there are many ways you can do this yourself, there’s always a risk of causing more damage.
Even when you take precautions to protect the pipes, they can still freeze, and rupture. The first thing you should do is call us so we can dispatch a licensed plumber to you as quickly as possible. Then, shut off your main water supply, to keep any more water from being forced into your pipes.