When temperatures drop during the winter months, the last thing you want to deal with is frozen pipes. If you have frozen pipe issues and wonder, “will frozen pipes thaw on their own?” the short answer is no. Leaving frozen pipes on their own and hoping they’ll thaw is a recipe for leaks, pipe bursts, and disaster.
When you call Champion Plumbing, our plumbing experts will ensure that your frozen pipes don’t become a more severe issue and work to restore water to your home quickly and efficiently. At Champion Plumbing, we pride ourselves on being Noble’s professional plumbers, and we’re ready to assist you with all of your plumbing needs.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
There are several signs to look out for that let you know you may have frozen pipes. Knowing how your plumbing works and noticing even subtle changes can help you recognize a problem early and remedy it before it becomes more severe – and more expensive. Below are some signs that you have a frozen water pipe, including:
- Little or no water coming from your faucets
- Banging or gurgling sounds signify ice making its way through the pipes
- Cracks in the line or visible condensation on the surface of the pipe
- Bulges in the pipe, due to the expansion of water when it freezes
Preventing Pipes From Freezing
While there are no perfect ways to prevent frozen water pipes, a little advance preparation goes a long way toward reducing the risk of freezing. Below, we offer a few tips for frozen pipe prevention during cold winter weather.
Keep Warm Air Circulating Inside, and Keep Cold Temperatures Outside
Preparing for winter should always include an assessment of your home’s heating efficiency. If you discover cracks or gaps in the walls, seal them with insulation (such as spray foam). Minor fixes like these prevent icy air from reaching your plumbing pipes and freezing them. Additionally, ensure that your thermostat is always set above 55 degrees when outside temperatures plummet below 28 degrees to keep your home warm — pipes included.
Disconnect or Winterize Outdoor Irrigation
Most homeowners know that once summer is over, it’s time to drain the main sprinkler lines, so they don’t freeze during the colder months. However, many people often forget to drain and disconnect outdoor hoses, which exposes the area to freezing danger. Many hose spigots now offer freeze protection, but to ensure that the fixture won’t freeze, do the following:
- Open the outside spigot
- Drain the line
- Turn off the interior valve to prevent pressure build-up
- Cover the exposed spigot with foam insulation
Insulate Exposed Pipe Segments
Insulating exposed pipe segments using inexpensive foam better protects them from the elements. Most of the time, slitting the foam insulation down the center and wrapping it around the pipes allows you to avoid disconnecting any pipes in the process. Insulate any exposed pipes that extend into the ground by digging about a foot deep around the pipe and applying the insulation. This protects the pipe from sitting in frost and snow, reducing the probability of freezing.
Protect Water Lines Inside
Locate indoor pipes that are more prone to freezing because of their location in your home. Exposed pipes in your basement, attic, garage, or under kitchen and bathroom cabinets may need a little extra care. Use electrical heat tape and insulation to wrap these sections and prevent potential problems.
Let Faucets Dribble
Keeping a small but steady stream of water trickling through your pipes makes it less likely for the pipes to freeze. Stationary water droplets that settle in the pipes are more apt to freeze than constantly moving water.
The easiest way to keep your plumbing system safe during the frigid winter months is by performing the preventative maintenance steps listed above. This is also an excellent time to make sure you’ve addressed any other plumbing issues. A little bit of time at the beginning of the season may save you money and headaches down the line.
How to Unfreeze Pipes
Perhaps you’ve done everything you could to prevent it, but you still end up dealing with your pipes freezing. Instead of wondering, “Will frozen pipes thaw on their own?” the first step is calling a professional. As a homeowner, you may not find the root of the problem and fix it without damaging your plumbing. However, if you decide to try to thaw out your frozen pipes on your own, follow the steps below:
Find the Frozen Pipe
There are a few ways to discover which pipe is frozen. The most obvious sign is a pipe with ice or frost on the outside. Another telltale sign is if a section of the pipe is bulging. Finally, if there are faucets in your home with no water flow, that signifies that the pipe attached to them is likely frozen.
Open Up the Faucet
Once you’ve pinpointed the frozen pipe, open up the faucet attached to it. This allows the water to drain as the pipe thaws.
Thaw Towards the Faucet
To safely thaw a frozen pipe, begin at the faucet. Heating the pipe closest to the faucet reduces the build-up of pressure in the pipe, allowing the pipe to thaw safely and without further damage.
The key to thawing a frozen pipe is using gentle heat to gradually melt the ice. A hair dryer, electric blanket, heat lamp, or strip of electrical tape each offer enough warmth to safely begin the thawing process.
For best results, we recommend calling us to inspect your frozen pipes and thaw them safely and efficiently. At Champion Plumbing, we offer a full range of plumbing services to ensure that your family doesn’t have to do without clean, hot water.
Champion Plumbing | Noble, OK
If you suspect a frozen pipe is the culprit behind your plumbing issues, call Champion Plumbing today. Our reliable, family-owned company is here to provide you with knowledgeable and professional solutions to all of your plumbing questions.
Will frozen pipes thaw on their own? No, but Champion can help. Whether you’re looking for preventative maintenance or emergency plumbing services, call the Champs for assistance.