If you have a frozen pipe or any condition of a burst pipe, the first thing you have to do is shut off the main water line supply to the house at the main valve in order to stop the leaking water and the home damage. First, I will advise you to call a plumber immediately as time is critical and it depends where the leaking is, you might also need to open your kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet so the water in the pipes will empty to a lower place and go to the sink, and if you have a basement with a laundry area or any sink you should release the water out from the lowest water valve that is available. Sometimes the lowest valve will be the one next to the main water valve so all the water that comes from the piping system will go out onto the ground.
In home and commercial properties you can always find the main shut off valve next to the water meter and its always good to mark it in case of emergency and to have a flashlight near it in case you have an emergency so you or your employee can go directly to it and shut off the main water until a plumber can come and repair the water leak.
Frozen or Burst Pipes Damaged: How Does It Happen?
Water becomes ice around 32 degrees Farenheit (0 degrees Celsius), the only thing you need to make sure of is that your water pipe lines are:
- Located within an area in which there is heating service and minimum access to open air so warm air can go through any layers of sheet-rock, walls, ceilings, especially around exterior walls where pipes are more likely to get frozen and burst because the temperature is much lower in this area or in an unfinished basement.
- Some of the water lines need to be insulated to prevent direct access of cold air and low temperatures on the pipe’s surface, especially pipes that are located underground or next to exterior walls that are exposed to a lower temperature.
- In some rare areas you might need to leave some windows, like in the garage and open doors in the basement, furnace room or HVAC system or boiler in order to have the warm air and the heat flow to the rest of the area as in some areas baseboard heaters or vents are not installed because they are unfinished or not a living area.
- If you suspect that your pipes are in a low temperature area and might get frozen and burst you must prepare yourself for the worst in order to prevent substantial damage, not only to plumbing but also to your home’s belongings at it might get, floors wet, walls wet from leaking, carpeting or floor damage and electrical damage that will cost you thousands of dollars to fix. The way to do that is to figure out the risk areas, and if you had a burst pipe in the past then you will know. From our experience a low temperature are will hit again and again at the same spot, so if you had a frozen pipe in the kitchen, or a frozen main line in the basement or an underground pipe that froze and burst those are the areas you need to fix and make sure those pipes are protected from the cold so they do not freeze and burst again.
- As part of burst pipe prevention and protecting frozen water lines there are devices that can be used as small heaters for pipes that are at risk of being in a low temperature area. Those devices range from $20 to no more than $200 so they can surround and be attached to the pipe and that’s an excellent local plumbing repair tool that will prevent a burst or frozen pipe. The other option is to go with heating systems that will maintain a minimum temperature within your living area, basement, etc..
Burst Pipe or Frozen Pipe repair Can Be Avoided
So maintaining your heat temperature to at least 50 degrees in order to be on the safe side, make sure there are openings in the rooms where there are no heating baseboards or hot air and take care of the water lines that are under risk of getting frozen before they get burst. As always, we are your local plumbers and heating and cooling company, feel free to call anytime 24 Hour Plumbing emergency service and we will be happy to help.