Frozen Pipes: How it happens and what can be done to avoid it

Winter weather can cause many problems for homeowners throughout metro Detroit. Homes are vulnerable to certain plumbing issues during the winter, causing all kinds of problems as homeowners try to protect their homes from damages.

Frozen water pipes are one of Michigan homeowner’s biggest problems

One of the biggest issues we see for homeowners during these long, cold Michigan winters is frozen pipes that burst. Homeowners who want to avoid calling a burst pipe repair company this winter should watch for these common warning signs of frozen pipes.

How do frozen water pipes burst in the winter?

The reason pipes burst in the winter is that as water freezes, it expands. When the water inside a plumbing system freezes, it creates pressure inside the pipes that can cause damage to the entire plumbing system.

Burst pipes can cause a lot of expensive property damage and be a safety hazard. In this article, we'll explain the warning signs of frozen pipes and give tips for preventing burst pipe repair this winter.

Be proactive to avoid costly water pipe repairs

Frozen pipes can significantly impact the water pressure. This can be one of the first noticeable signs of frozen pipes.

To avoid a burst pipe repair, homeowners should pay attention to low or no water pressure during cold weather. Ignoring the warning signs can lead to costly repairs. Leave cabinets under sinks open during cold temperatures to allow heat from the home to circulate in the area.

During the winter when you expect pipes may freeze, leave your faucets on at a very small drip to alleviate pressure in the lines and keep water moving. Keeping up with annual system maintenance can save homeowners from needing burst pipe repair service. We offer a Maintenance Program that can save you money and headaches.

Pipe insulation should be installed to water supply lines, especially those on exterior walls and in uninsulated areas. You should also have pressure relief valves installed on water lines to help avoid the pressure buildup that contributes to pipe leaks and breaks when freezes occur.

Slow or no water flow from faucets could mean that the water has frozen inside the pipes, causing a blockage. Leaving the faucet dripping slightly can help to prevent pipes from freezing over. When the water line gets blocked by ice, the water pressure inside the plumbing system can expand until a burst pipe occurs.

Check for visible frost forming on exposed pipes

Homeowners worried about needing frozen pipe repair can visually check for signs of frozen pipes by looking for frost on the outside of exposed pipes in their home.

Most people have exposed pipes either under their kitchen or bathroom sink, a crawl space, or their attic. One can warm some exposed pipes in the home by opening interior doors to allow the heating system to circulate to these spaces.

Pipes that are exposed to freezing temperatures are likely to freeze over. Frost forming on the outside of the pipes is a clear confirmation that there is most likely ice on the pipes' inside. Insulating exposed pipes and the space around the pipes can prevent a plumbing disaster this winter.

Sewer lines can freeze, too

The sewer line is also susceptible to freezing over during the winter. When this happens, sewage waste can become frozen in the pipes, and the smell can stink up the whole home.

What can you do to avoid it?

To avoid this unpleasant occurrence, homeowners should take steps to winterize their plumbing system before a cold front hits. In worst-case scenarios, the frozen sewer line will expand as it freezes and causes the pipes to burst. This means that the stinky sludge inside the pipes will go everywhere, which is even worse than a frozen water line bursting because of the threat to human health.

Need service or want to learn more?

If you have questions or need of a skilled, licensed plumber to help with any plumbing issues, call Rooter MD Plumbing at (248) 888-7777 or contact us for fast, reliable repairs. We’re offering 10% off all service work until January 31, 2023, so get in touch now to schedule your appointment!


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