Blogs from December, 2023

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What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

frozen pipe

Identifying Frozen Pipes

Winter in East Troy, WI, can be harsh, and one common problem homeowners face is frozen pipes. Recognizing the signs of frozen pipes is the first step towards mitigating potential damage. Some signs include a noticeable drop in water pressure, frost on the pipes, and strange smells coming from the faucet or drain. If your water isn't flowing as it should, or you notice frost on exposed pipes, it's time to investigate further.

Once you suspect a frozen pipe, the next step is locating the affected area. This can be a challenge, especially if the pipes are hidden behind walls. However, the frozen section is often near an exterior wall or where the water service enters your home.

Be aware of the potential risks associated with frozen pipes. If left untreated, they can burst, leading to significant water damage in your home. In the worst-case scenario, a burst pipe can cause flooding, mold growth, and structural damage to your property.

Immediate Actions to Take

When you've identified a frozen pipe, immediate action is crucial to prevent further damage.

  • Start by shutting off your water supply. This will prevent water from flowing into the frozen area and reduce the pressure on the pipe, minimizing the risk of a burst.
  • It's also a good idea to drain the faucets to remove any remaining water in the pipes. Remember, the goal is to minimize the amount of water that could potentially leak from the frozen section.
  • After shutting off the water and draining the faucets, you can start applying heat to the frozen section of the pipe. Use a hairdryer, heat lamp, or portable space heater to gradually warm the pipe. Avoid using open flames, as they can cause the pipe to heat too quickly and burst. Remember, the goal is to thaw the pipe slowly to prevent a sudden change in pressure.

Professional Help for Frozen Pipes

While some frozen pipes can be handled on your own, there are times when it's best to call a professional plumber. If you can't locate the frozen section, if the frozen pipe is inaccessible, or if your attempts to thaw the pipe aren't working, it's time to call in the experts. A professional plumber has the tools and expertise to safely thaw and repair frozen pipes, minimizing the risk of further damage.

Choosing the right plumbing service in East Troy, WI, is crucial. Look for a company like O'Leary Plumbing, Heating & Electrical that has a solid reputation, offers emergency services, and has experience dealing with frozen pipes. When a professional plumber arrives, they will assess the situation, locate the frozen pipe, safely thaw it, and inspect it for any damage. They can also provide advice on preventing future freezes.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to frozen pipes. Start by insulating your pipes, particularly those in unheated areas like basements, garages, and attics. Pipe insulation is inexpensive and can be found at any home improvement store. It's a small investment that can save you from costly repairs down the line.

Keeping your home warm is another crucial step in preventing frozen pipes. Maintain a consistent temperature in your home, even when you're not there. During particularly cold spells, consider opening cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Letting faucets drip can also help prevent freezing, as moving water is less likely to freeze.

Dealing with Pipe Bursts

Despite your best efforts, sometimes pipes burst. If this happens, the first step is to shut off the water supply immediately to minimize water damage. Then, call a professional plumber like O'Leary Plumbing, Heating & Electrical. While waiting for the plumber, try to remove as much water as possible to prevent further damage. Use towels, mops, and buckets to clean up the water, and consider using fans or dehumidifiers to help dry out the area.

Repairing a burst pipe is a job for professionals. They have the necessary tools and expertise to fix the pipe and restore your water supply. Once the immediate crisis is handled, it's time to look at preventing future pipe bursts. This could involve insulating your pipes, sealing gaps in your home's exterior to keep cold air out, or installing a water leak detection system.

Remember, O'Leary Plumbing, Heating & Electrical is here to help with all your plumbing needs in East Troy, WI. Whether you're dealing with a frozen or burst pipe, or you want to take steps to prevent these issues in the future, our team of professionals is ready to assist.

Contact us today for reliable, high-quality service.

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