The risk and action tips for frozen water pipes
Ottawa area winters can sometimes lead to nights of “hard freeze” that bring temperatures to extraordinarily low levels. During this time, Plumbing 4 Less advises you to prepare your water pipes by taking measures to prevent freezing. While this is effective, there are occasions when it may not work or something might have been forgotten. If water is trapped in your pipes during a period of these temperatures, you may suffer from frozen pipes.
The extreme cold combined with wind chill creates a substantial risk for burst or frozen pipes. Freezing water turns to ice within the pipe, which in turn can expand and block the line. This blockage can create excessive pressure throughout the system and cause pipe failure in vulnerable places—no matter if the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Even a tiny crack can unleash more than 250 gallons of water in a single day. The results of frozen water pipes can cause property damage, high repair costs and disruption of business.
Tips to avoid frozen pipes
- Insulate all pipes in unheated areas or against uninsulated outside walls, in garages or in crawl spaces
- Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.
- Make sure the heat is turned on in the building and is set no lower than 13 degrees Celsius.
- Windows and doors left open during the cold winter months can result in a overnight disaster
If You Have Frozen Pipes
- Shut off the water main leading into the structure to reduce pressure on frozen pipes and minimize flooding if the pipes burst.
- Use a hair dryer to thaw the ice blockage if the frozen pipe is exposed and visible. If frozen pipes are not visible, contact the experts at Plumbing 4 Less.
- If you notice slower water flow and expect frozen pipes, you should call a plumber immediately. Typically, issues like this can be resolved before any damage occurs.
If you experience frozen water pipes, contact the experts at Plumbing 4 Less, who have equipment designed for exactly this purpose.