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Top Tips for Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

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Frozen pipes are a nuisance. When water freezes it expands and becomes ice. If this happens inside the pipe then there is limited room for the ice as the water filled the available space. As it turns to ice and runs out of room it pushes against the inside of the pipe. This creates pressure.

In some cases, that’s the extent of the issue and it eventually thaws and returns to normal. But, the pressure can create holes in the pipes and the surrounding joints and valves. As the pipes thaw these cracks and holes will leak water. 

In short, you’ll have high-pressure water spraying from the pipes. The only question then is whether the water is inside or outside your home. If it’s outside then the cost of water lost can quickly add up. But, if it’s inside the water can quickly flood your house. That’s when you’ll urgently need the services of a reputable plumber Sydney.

That’s why it is best to avoid your pipes becoming frozen. But, if they are, you need to know how to thaw them.

Preventing Freezing

There are several ways you can prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Bury Them

If the pipes are outside then they should be buried several feet below ground level. The temperature in the soil stays the same throughout the year, which is why many insects hibernate underground. 

Burying your pipes will keep them warm enough to prevent them from freezing. 

Where they rise up into your home you should ensure they arrive inside a building 

  • Keep Outside Doors Closed

If you have pipework in the garage or an outbuilding then make sure the doors are closed in cold weather. It will help to maintain the temperature inside and prevent freezing. 

  • Open Inside Doors

Equally, pipes that are hidden in cupboards can be considerably cooler than the rest of the house. Leave cupboard doors open to help them stay warm. 

  • Leave The Faucet Dripping

A dripping faucet means that the water is moving in your pipes. This will cost a few cents but it’s harder for flowing water to freeze. That makes it a good preventative measure. 

  • Maintain Heat In Your House

It’s important to keep your house warm throughout the night and if you’re away, this will prevent the pipes from freezing. 

Thawing Your Frozen Pipes

The first thing to do is shut off the water supply. That means you are just thawing what is in the pipe and, if there is a leak, you’re limiting how much water can get into your home. 

You can then thaw the water in the pipe by applying heat. It’s okay to use a hairdryer or even a space heater. You can also wrap the pipe in an electric heating blanket or simply wrap hot compresses around it. 

It does take a little time for the water to thaw, especially if a large section of pipe is frozen. But, once it has thawed you can check for water leaks before you turn the supply back on.

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