If you find yourself left without water in the cold of winter, there is a chance that one of your pipes may have frozen up. To confirm your suspicions, you will need to ask your neighbours whether they are without water. If their water supply seems fine, your intuition is likely to be correct. You must therefore set your sights on locating the frozen pipe and defrosting it.
Identifying Your Frozen Pipe
To determine which one of your pipes has frozen, you will need to look for evidence of freezing along your pipes. Using the palm of your hand, feel along each pipe in turn. If one of your pipes has frozen, a section of the offending pipe should feel cooler to the touch than the pipes in which water is flowing freely. You may find multiple frozen areas within a single pipe. Once you have identified your frozen pipe, you should be aware that the pipe may burst at any time.
Defrosting Your Frozen Pipe
Before you defrost your frozen pipe, you should turn off the main stop tap, which is usually found under your kitchen sink. If you have a cold water tank, you should turn off the stopcock in your attic or loft. You must then open the cold water tap closest to the frozen pipe. In doing so, you will enable the water in the frozen pipe to flow away once it has melted.
To start defrosting your frozen pipe, you will need to use a hairdryer to carefully melt the ice in the pipe, starting from the tap end. If you do not own a hairdryer, cover the frozen section of the pipe with hot water bottles.
Checking Your Pipe for Damage
Once you have thawed out your frozen pipe, you will need to inspect it for signs of damage. If your pipe appears to be in good condition and you are confident that you have fully thawed out the blockage, you should turn your water supply back on and run the water until you have restored a normal flow. If your pipe looks damaged, you will need to enlist the help of a plumber.
Dealing With a Burst Water Pipe
If your frozen pipe bursts during defrosting, you should turn off the main stop tap and contact a plumber. If water has leaked near or into your electrics, you must switch off the mains supply. If the mains switch is wet, you should not touch it. Instead, call an electrician immediately.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
As you may already know, frozen pipes can cause considerable inconvenience and expense. In cold weather, it is wise to insulate any exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing. To protect against the cost of replacing damaged or burst pipes in the near future, contact us today and become a member of 247 Home Rescue.