What to Do When Your Pipes Freeze in Memphis, Tennessee

Winter can be a difficult time for people to withstand. Not only do low light and colder temperatures affect us, but property owners also have the worry of frozen pipes during these months. Oftentimes pipes are more susceptible to harsh weather conditions like snowfall or freezing rainstorms which cause pipe bursts or freezing.

United Water Restoration Group of Memphis, Tennessee is here to help you handle the situation of frozen pipes. With a better understanding and knowledge on how to properly address this issue, your time will be saved as well as money from unnecessary repairs or replacements!


What Causes Pipes to Freeze?

When it’s cold outside, pipes may freeze. 32 degrees Fahrenheit is the freezing point for water but that doesn’t always protect external piping from freezing over. Extreme temperatures like those below 20 degrees Fahrenheit can make pipes become damaged or even break due to frozen galleries inside of them.

One thing that can accelerate this situation is a lack of maintenance and aging pipe systems. The cold outside temperature causes frozen pipes, but it also affects how fast they melt when thawed out because your home’s heat creates more friction on them than in normal circumstances. Windchill plays an important role in determining if we need extra protection or not as it can make the area feel colder than it is.


How Long Does it Take For Pipes to Freeze?

With the cold weather coming up, you may be wondering if your pipes will freeze over. It’s unlikely that they’ll do so in a matter of seconds or even minutes after temperatures drop below freezing point. Typically on average, it will take 6-8 hours for this to happen! This varies depending upon how old those particular lines are; some newer homes can experience frozen plumbing fixtures as soon as their heat is turned off at night due to what they are made of. 

The pipes in your home can freeze without you even noticing until it’s too late. You’ll need at least six hours of this freezing weather for the pipes to begin freezing over. However, there are various uncontrollable factors that can speed up or slow down the process.


Signs of Frozen Pipes

When your water pipes burst, it can be a terrifying experience. You may not even know that there was a problem with the plumbing in your house until you turn on some faucets and notice they’re not working right away or slowly flowing like before. If something seems off while inspecting themself yourself, then hiring someone who knows what they’re doing will definitely save time later when trying to fix things.

When you spot standing water or flooding, that’s a pretty obvious sign of frozen pipes. In this case, it would be best to contact your local plumber in Memphis, Tennessee as soon as possible because they may know how to get the problem solved quickly! You can also try unfreezing them yourself if it’s safe to do so. If you begin to spot discoloration on ceilings or walls, strange smells, or the sound of running water you’re going to want to seek help as these can be more difficult to resolve yourself.


Do Frozen Pipes Always Burst?

If you don’t use your faucet, it reduces the risk of burst pipes. Copper piping is more likely to rupture or explode when exposed to low temperatures whereas PVC and PEX will be able to withstand lower temperatures without bursting.

When water freezes, it expands which can cause damage to pipes. Blockages are caused when water freezes and expands, pushing aside any other objects that might have been blocking its paths like dirt or string.




Can My Pipes Thaw on Their Own?

Your pipes can potentially thaw on their own with time and weather permitting. However, waiting for this outcome at the risk of having the pipes burst. If you choose to allow this, the frozen water in the pipe will remain and thaw. If the ice expanded to the point of damaging the pipe, more damage may be caused. Allowing the pipe to thaw on its own also creates more pressure as the ice thaws out. This increased pressure may lead to these frozen pipes bursting. Making your problem much more difficult to handle.

Allowing the ice to thaw in your pipes can cause problematic results. In this instance, you should contact a professional company for assistance. They can help safely thaw your pipes and help ensure there are no hidden leaks.


How Can I Safely Thaw Pipes?

While it is possible to thaw out a frozen pipe on your own, we highly encourage you to reach out for professional help. Though some may jump straight into the fire method without thinking about the consequences first. Using a fire source can actually cause the pipe to crack/burst. Causing a pipe burst can be more detrimental than having a frozen pipe.


We recommend the following items if you need help thawing your pipes:


Towels – Using towels to soak up hot water and wrap around frozen pipes can help safely thaw out the ice.


Hairdryer – To help you safely thaw out your frozen pipes, use a hairdryer. Make sure that it’s not too close to the pipe and away from any possible sources of heat or flame! 


Electric Heating Pads – Heating up a frozen pipe with an electric heating pad can be effective. Just make sure you wrap all sides of the pipe evenly.


Portable Heaters – Heating up an area quickly is something that portable heaters are great for. They’ll help you warm pipes wherever they’re placed, but be careful not to place these items too close or near flammable materials.


Heating cables are a quick and easy way to help thaw frozen pipes, but they may not work as well on their own. Professional plumbers should be called before trying this yourself!


How Can I Prevent My Pipes From Freezing?

There are a few methods to keep pipes at your house from freezing. While these events may be unavoidable at times, there are still several things you can do to lower the probability of your pipes freezing. Here are some tips for preventing your pipes from icing up:


Install Heat Tape

Heat tape is a fantastic method to prevent pipes from freezing. Heat tape was created with the goal of preventing problems like frozen pipes. It may assist you to battle the harsh weather at your location. If your pipes are hidden behind walls or devices, further help may be required from a professional.


Open Cabinets 

If your cabinets are closed, there may be a lack of warmer air circulation in your home. This can put the pipes beneath the sinks at risk because the hotter air does not flow to them. The majority of kitchen sinks are connected to an external wall. This might cause them to cool down considerably faster.


Disconnect Hoses

If you’re expecting a chilly night, remove all hoses leading outside to assist drain water from their spouts and pipes. A hose bib can prevent water from coming out of the hose. In this case, because of the accumulating water, the pipes and spout might be damaged.


Monitor Your Property’s Temperature 

The greatest approach to avoid frozen pipes is to make sure your home is adequately heated. You’ll have a problem if the temperatures drop below 32 indoors. Space heaters should be used to keep areas with pipes warm and ensure that your insulation is up-to-date throughout the house.


Keep The Water Running

If there is a constant flow of water running through the pipes, they will not freeze. This does not need every faucet to be spurting out water; it may be as few as a couple of spigots that are gently streaming warm water out. This will aid in the circulation of water throughout the system, preventing freezing.


What To Do When Pipes Freeze in Memphis, Tennesee

If you have a frozen pipe, turn off the water as soon as possible to avoid further damage. If it just trickles there may still be some hope for survival and your home won’t need an expensive fix-it job!

United Water Restoration Group of Memphis knows how to handle all your needs when it comes time for a plumbing emergency! If you are dealing with frozen pipes or burst ones, we can assist.

United Water Restoration Group is here to help you after a disaster with frozen pipes. Our team works for hand in glove with other companies that have experience dealing specifically with this issue, so we can provide assistance for those who need it most!

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