Help! My Water Pipes Are Frozen!

It doesn’t happen very often here in Vegas.  But when we do get a sharp winter cold snap with overnight temperatures below freezing, frozen water pipes in our home becomes a real risk. 

The fact that such conditions are so infrequent here in the desert makes us more vulnerable because Southern Nevada homes are not insulated against the cold to the extent they are in northern climates.

How do you know if your pipes are frozen?  The obvious symptom is waking up after a cold night and getting only a trickle of water or no water at all when you open up your faucets or try to take your shower.

ARE FROZEN PIPES AN EMERGENCY?

Because water expands when it freezes and becomes ice, it can put tremendous pressure on the walls of the pipes that are constraining its volume.  The forces related to this ultra-high-pressure condition can possibly cause a pipe to burst or crack, which then of course is a real emergency.  So, it’s certainly best to address a suspected frozen water pipe condition sooner rather than later.

Not all frozen pipes will burst, but do you really want to take a chance and risk an expensive and inconvenient repair?

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY PIPES ARE FROZEN?

A frozen pipe will typically run along the inside of an exterior wall.  You can try things like opening cabinets to let in some warmer room air, or you can attempt to warm a frozen pipe with a hairdryer if you think you know where the blockage is located.

However, doing things incorrectly in a half-hazard way can lead to more problems for you and at worst cause a real plumbing emergency, thousands of dollars in water damage and an expensive repair job.

You should really consider calling in a professional for help.  Active Plumbing & Air Conditioning has the expertise, training and equipment to locate and thaw your frozen pipes quickly and safely.

HOW DO I PREVENT FROZEN PIPES?

If you’ve had problems before and know your home is prone to problems with freezing pipes, there are a couple things you should do when the forecast calls for subfreezing temperatures.  First, you should open your taps and let the water trickle.  The cost of the water going down the drain will be small compared with the expense of a huge repair bill.

The other thing you can do is keep your home warm inside day and night.  Keep the thermostat set high rather than lowering it at night or when you’re away. Open up cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around your susceptible plumbing pipes and fixtures.The best long-term solution is making sure your plumbing located in areas at risk of freezing is well insulated and protected.  Give Active Plumbing & Air Conditioning a call.  We will come over and assess your specific needs and give expert recommendations for you.

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