Frosted Pipes: Thawing Water Lines to Prevent Flooding
Water Lines Must Be Thawed to Prevent Flooding
If you go to work one winter day and find that the water pressure is lacking, then some of your pipes may be frozen. The steps below can help you locate and resolve this issue before a pipe bursts and causes potentially substantial flooding.
1. Locate the Pipe and Open the Faucet
If you have lost water pressure and suspect a frozen pipe, you should attempt to relieve pressure on the system. To ease the stress on the system, you can open the faucet nearest the pipe. It is essential to open the faucet because freezing builds pressure on an already pressurized system, which can result in an early spring flood. The pipe will likely be near the disrupted faucet.
2. Thaw Externally Located Pipes Like This
If the pipe is located on the outside of the building or in a crawlspace below the building, you can use a hair dryer, heat lamp, heat tape, or portable heater to resolve the issue. It is not wise to use an open flame or torch as either of these can weaken or damage the integrity of the pipe, leading to breaks and flooding.
3. Thaw Internally Located Pipes Like This
If the pipe is located in the ceiling or behind interior walls, then you can crank up the thermostat, use an infrared heater, or cut out the wallboard and heat the pipe as though it were outside. Typically, a frozen pipe will not occur too deep inside of a building.
4. Admit Defeat or Celebrate
If you cannot find the frozen pipes, but you strongly suspect freezing to be the culprit of reduced water pressure, then you may want to consult an expert in the Nassau Bay, TX, area because they will likely have access to thermal cameras and other specialized equipment that can help narrow down and speed up the search.
Frozen or freezing pipes can lead to increased flooding risk because of the heightened pressure on the system. If you suspect the pipes in your building may be frozen, you can follow the above steps to minimize any potential damage.