Frozen Pipes: Do You Need a Plumber?
With winter rapidly approaching and temperatures falling, frozen pipes are a problem many Ontarian homeowners have to face. Serving families and business owners across Ontario, we at Plumbing Medic have seen our fair share of bursting and exploding pipes come wintertime! That’s why our family-owned and operated business is the best choice for professional plumbing solutions in Ontario.
Keep reading to find out if you can DIY solve your frozen pipes, or if you need to call the pros at Plumbing Medic to rescue you from a disastrous repair bill. We cover every emergency plumbing service you need!
Frozen Pipes: Do You Need a Plumber?
The worst happened. You wake up to start your coffee pot or shower and hear a deafening clunk in your pipes and then silence. You quickly shut off the water and assess the situation. Winter is here, and that means the chances for frozen pipes skyrocket.
Frozen pipes are one of the most common problems that homeowners have to deal with. They are part of the number one reason for home insurance claims in Canada: water damage. And these accidents are no minor problem either, as repair costs can shoot into the several thousand very easily.
But Frozen pipes aren’t the only cause of odd sounds coming from your drain. Did you know that tree roots are one of the leading causes of pipe damage? Check out our article here to see if that’s the cause of your plumbing problems!
So what do you do when you have frozen pipes? Is a hairdryer enough? Keep reading to find out if you need a plumber for frozen pipes.
Preparation for Winter
There are a couple of tips you should follow before winter comes to prepare for the colder months. Specifically for your pipes, you should:
- Drain all outdoor pipes
- Wrap pipes with insulation
- Shut off necessary water
But when you’ve completed these tasks (or forgotten them) and you still find yourself with frozen pipes, what can you do? Let’s take a look at the solutions from DIY to professional to give you the best understanding of how to protect your home during the winter.
Why do pipes freeze and burst?
If you’re reading this to be prepared, here’s what you need to know. Generally, when nightly temperatures fall below 7 C, your pipes might freeze. After about six consecutive hours within this range, the freezing process begins. Once the temperatures regularly fall to below 0 C, you’re at major risk. At this temperature, it takes a much shorter time for pipes to freeze.
Not to forget, but some pipes are more prone to freezing than others, especially if they’re outside or part of an exterior wall. And if you have uninsulated pipes, these may also freeze. As water freezes, it expands up to 9%, which means these pipes are high-risk factors for water damage.
Once the freezing process reaches a certain point, cracking or bursting becomes likely. If your pipes reach this stage, it usually means a hefty repair bill.
Signs Your Pipes Are Frozen
Detecting frozen pipes as quickly as possible is essential to preventing damage. Here are the signs you should look out for:
- Lack of water or reduced water flow from one or more faucets
- Unusual whistling, banging, or clanking coming from the pipes or walls
- A visible bulge or crack in an exposed pipe
- Frost covering an exposed pipe
If you see one or more of the above signs, it’s a good idea to call a professional plumber to assess the damage and necessary repairs. If the problem gets too massive, so does the bill! That’s why early detection is your best solution against frozen pipes.
Don’t hesitate to call us at 1-866-661-2424 if you believe your pipes to be frozen. Our professional services will fix the problem better than any DIY solution.
DIY Frozen Pipe Thawing
So you want to save yourself the cost of a plumber and see if you can fix the problem yourself. There’s nothing wrong with self-sufficiency, so let’s cover the tips and tools you can do to thaw frozen pipes. That being said though, there are many challenges when it comes to this DIY project.
Firstly, it’s quite a challenge to locate the source of your problems. And this is not good, because the longer you wait to solve the issue, the worse it gets. It often requires powerful specialized tools to address, meaning your hair dryer just doesn’t have the juice to melt below 0 ice. That’s why sometimes the cost of a plumber is worth it when it saves you the cost of a major repair.
Alright, warnings aside, here’s what you can try to DIY thaw frozen pipes:
- Turn up your thermostat
- Use an infrared lamp
- Apply heat directly
When using these methods, makes sure to keep the affected water fixture open to allow pressure to escape as the ice melts. Doing so will also let you see if you’re making any progress. And make sure to not use flames, as this can damage pipes and cause a residential fire.
So if these quick DIY solutions don’t work, what can you do? Request an appointment with the experts at Plumbing Medic. Now let’s take a look at how the pros can fix this issue for you in no time.
Signs You Need a Plumber for Frozen Pipes
We’ve covered some DIY solutions here, but the truth is that these options have limited effectiveness. Especially when it comes to Canadian winters, your space heater just doesn’t have the power to break down larger freezes. That’s why these DIY solutions are the last resort and aren’t meant to replace a professional.
If any of the following occurs, it’s a good idea to call in the Plumbing Medic:
- You can’t find the location of the freeze
- You aren’t confident with repairs
- You have a hunch there’s a bigger problem
- You don’t see any improvement with the DIY solutions
Don’t risk a major expense on repairs. Instead, give the Plumber Medics a call at 1-866-661-2424.
Winterize Your Home with Plumbing Medic
As one of the most common issues that homeowners and renters alike face, frozen pipes and their subsequent water damage are a real problem. Every year, Canadians fork over thousands of dollars to repair bursting and cracking pipes. But with a little preparation and a keen sense of action, you can be prepared for the worst, and solve any problems that arise quickly.
With a small fleet of professional plumbers, we proudly serve customers throughout Georgina, Lindsay, Orillia, Peterborough and the surrounding areas. For over 13 years, our family-owned and operated business has been solving bursting and cracking frozen pipes with great expertise. With Plumbing Medic, you can relax knowing plumbing problems will disappear in no time.