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What To Expect Once Your Pipe Starts To Thaw Out

Most know what happens when pipes or a section of them freeze – lack of water supply, presence of cold drafts in the house, bubbling noise (a rare case), and an odorous stench (in case sewage pipes froze). However, many are not aware of what happens after they thaw out. So, is it happily ever after the pipes unfreeze? Probably not. 


What Happens After Pipes Thaw Out?

Generally speaking, after unfreezing, the pipes exhibit complications that are not discernible while they were in a frozen state. Of course, the degree of damage to the pipes largely depends on the degree of their freezing and how they thawed out – natural or mechanical (more on this later on).

For an insider tip, know that if you have frozen pipes it is best to call a plumber and arrange a plumbing service for a later date – specifically, the beginning of spring. Know that you are not the only client whose pipes have thawed out. Therefore, plumbers will be very busy, and getting an immediate service might be difficult. 

Going back to the topic, these are the possible scenarios that happen once your house’s pipes thaw out.

 

Leaking 

When pipes freeze, the liquid inside them expands. It can cause the linkages of the pipes to loosen, thereby causing leaks. Since ice does not drip, you cannot notice the presence of leaks while the pipes are still frozen. However, as the pipe thaws out, the ice returns to liquid form. It will then exit via the loose linkages of the pipes, and leaking becomes apparent. 

 

Even more of a headache is that leaking does not happen to one section only. Leaking, which loose linkages cause, happens to several sections at once. There is no other way to get around except go for a pipe relining service (if the pipes are still serviceable) or go for pipe replacement service. 

 

Cracking

Pipe Crack

If the pipes’ linkages did not loosen, then the leaking might happen via the cracks on the pipe. Cracking occurs whenever frozen pipes suddenly unfreeze. Factors that cause this is the sudden increase in the environment’s temperature or immediate thawing using a high output heat gun or room heater.

Compared to loose linkages, cracks do not result in the gushing of water from the pipes. You can do a few things to minimize the problem that they cause.

The first thing that you can do is apply pipe sealants on the cracks to stop the dripping before the plumbers arrive to repair them. You can also place carpets or buckets under the cracks so that the water does not go to other house locations and cause unnecessary hassle.


Prepare To Move Out Of Your House

Often, the leaking that happens once the pipes thaw out is not limited to little water drips that can only wet the room where the pipes are. The leaking is as strong as the flow of water from a faucet. Therefore, resulting in pools of water that affect the whole house.

The severity of the leaking depends on the design of your house. For example, if your houses have two floors, and the frozen pipes are on the second floor, the first floor will probably rain with water. Hence, this will result in wetting the living room, the hallways, etc. 

Prepare to move out when this happens. The leaking will not stop anytime sooner. Moreover, living in a wet house is dangerous. Due to the wetting, house appliances, especially those on the floor, might short circuit and cause fires while sleeping or doing something.

 

How To Thaw Frozen Pipes?

The pipes will thaw on their own once spring comes. However, waiting for spring is not ideal because prolonged freezing leads to further damage. Therefore, it is best to thaw the pipe early. These are the simple tricks to thawing with everyday items in the house. 

 

Use The Blower

This method works once the pipe has only started freezing. The blower method is also people for the smaller pipes in the house. Any blower will do, but it is best to use the ones that have high heat output. Using a blower is that it gradually thaws out the pipe, which does not result in further damage.

 

Use A Portable Room Heater

Portable Heater with Infrared Technology

The room heater has a similar effect to the blower. However, compared to the blower, the room heater is more suitable for thawing several sections of a pipe in the same location. The best portable heater to use is those that use infrared technology. It provides heating to the room and the pipes, thereby resulting in efficient and effective thawing.

 

Use Lukewarm Water 

Using lukewarm water will do the job. Note the emphasis on the term lukewarm and not boiling. You do not want to use boiling water because it will cause the pipes to expand and develop cracks.  To use lukewarm water, pour it on the frozen sections of the pipe at intervals. Also, get a bucket to catch the drips of lukewarm water that goes to the floor after pouring. 

 

What To Do When The Pipes Thaw Out?

Turn off The Main Water Line

Main Water Line

You might want to turn off the main water line to lessen the leaking effects of the pipes. By turning off the main water line, you cut the water supply on the pipes, thereby reducing the flow of water in them. It makes leaking more problematic because the drips will only come from the unfrozen water inside the pipes.

 

Conclusion

Pipes that thaw out can lead to more complicated things aside from affecting your house’s water supply. Thawing isn’t a sign that the problem is over. Once the pipes thaw out, they call for more attention and care. That’s why call our plumbing services Chantilly now. Our company will restore the original integrity of your pipes as if they were never frozen.

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