As a polar vortex sweeps through Georgia, frozen pipes raise concern

As a polar vortex sweeps through Georgia, frozen pipes raise concern

Considering that Greater Atlanta winter temperatures average between 34° F and 37° F, recent single-digit temperatures have put residents into deep-freeze mode. But it's not just your fingers and toes that sense the frigid conditions. Freezing temperatures also could lead to frozen pipes.

Cause for concern

Water freezing inside the plumbing pipes is a problem for one specific reason: Water expands when it freezes, so it puts the pipes in a precarious position. As the water begins expanding, the pipes will succumb to the pressure and burst, sending gallons of water into your basement or crawl space.

In places like Atlanta, where many homes have pipes running through crawl spaces or attics that either don't have enough insulation or any insulation at all, the risk for frozen pipes increases.

When pipes burst

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of dealing with a burst pipe, it's best to call a plumber right away. Figure out where your home's main water-supply shutoff valve is. Then get there quickly and shut it off. This should cause the water to stop flowing out of the broken pipe. Once the plumber arrives, he or she will identify the problematic portion of pipe, assess the condition of the entire plumbing system and replace the pipes that have burst.

Before the problem gets worse

If you're lucky enough to notice the problem before it gets so bad that the pipes burst, you can take steps to thaw frozen pipes. Here's what you can do:

  • Open the faucet. Doing so relieves pressure within the pipe and will perhaps prevent the pipes from cracking or splitting. As the frozen water begins to melt, water running through the pipes will help to slow the blockage.
  • Use heat to melt the section of pipe. With a heating pad, hair dryer or portable heater, apply heat to the pipes. You can also moisten towels with hot water and wrap them around the pipes. Avoid using any type of heating component with an open flame, which can be hazardous.
  • Stop when full pressure returns. You can tell that any blockages of ice have melted when the water running out of the faucets is normal and pressure isn't minimized.
  • Check every faucet. If pressure isn't normal for other faucets in the home, repeat the steps here, following the plumbing pipes down to the basement or other area where they're accessible.

Even if you avoid having to deal with a burst pipe, it's best to have a plumber evaluate the entire system to ensure that the pipes are in good condition, and that the water didn't expand enough to cause damage. For expert plumbing advice or help dealing with plumbing problems, contact RooterPLUS! today.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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4.7 Stars (5020 Reviews)

Robert came out quickly and did a fantastic job. He found the leak quickly and did a quality repair to a poorly joined pipe by the builder. I am very pleased with the work provided. He went the extra mile and also replaced the pine straw that was removed for the repair. Work was NOT cheap but... Robert came out quickly and did a fantastic job. He found the leak quickly and did a quality repair to a poorly joined pipe by the builder. I am very pleased with the work provided. He went the extra mile and also replaced the pine straw that was removed for the repair. Work was NOT cheap but I got what I needed - immediate response and repair. I recommend if you are in a pinch.
Great service and work done really good. Steven E. hands down the best. The way he works with the machine, makes it look easy. He explained every detail about the job we was going to do. And all his knowledge is awesome. I will recommend him and the company to anyone needing service at their... Great service and work done really good. Steven E. hands down the best. The way he works with the machine, makes it look easy. He explained every detail about the job we was going to do. And all his knowledge is awesome. I will recommend him and the company to anyone needing service at their homes. Thank You Steven!
Steven was very knowledgeable and educated us on septic tanks. We luckily had gravel drainage so he recommended cleaning out our septic tank completely and putting biodegratible in the drainage field. He was here from 4:00-6:30 and explained everything to my husband. In the past when we had our... Steven was very knowledgeable and educated us on septic tanks. We luckily had gravel drainage so he recommended cleaning out our septic tank completely and putting biodegratible in the drainage field. He was here from 4:00-6:30 and explained everything to my husband. In the past when we had our septic tank pumped they did it incorrectly. I feel confident in Steven’s work and we have a 12 month guarantee. It was costly but for what he did worth every penny. Thank you Steven for your expertise job.
Steven was so awesome and very knowledgeable of the system that he taught me a lot. He did a good job alone and I would recommend and already did to someone else. I like the fact he drove a long way and there was no charge for him to come out! I will use him again in another 4-5 years if he... Steven was so awesome and very knowledgeable of the system that he taught me a lot. He did a good job alone and I would recommend and already did to someone else. I like the fact he drove a long way and there was no charge for him to come out! I will use him again in another 4-5 years if he still with the company! Thanks Steven again!
David O. Showed up on time and prepared. Very professional at his craft. Explained everything in detail, and got the job done! I will definitely be giving Rooter Plus my business going forward! Thank you David O.!!!
Ken H was excellent! He was professional and efficient in diagnosing my problem with my water heater. He offered various options for replacement and went out of his way to get the job done the same day. I would highly recommend him and Rooter Plus!
Great customer experience, with experienced staff. I called the office for water leakage on Sunday morning and they schedule me with Technician arrival in 30 mins. Jason reached on time, investigate the problem and able to find the source of leak in few minutes, which was definitely tricky and I... Great customer experience, with experienced staff. I called the office for water leakage on Sunday morning and they schedule me with Technician arrival in 30 mins. Jason reached on time, investigate the problem and able to find the source of leak in few minutes, which was definitely tricky and I believe only an expert eye like Jason can capture it. He walked me over the issue, fixed it and saved my Sunday morning. RooterPLUS is on my speed dial now for any plumbing issues.
It is usually unlikely that you see someone young working hard and have a good attitude along with it. Robert definitely displayed that while he was at work today and I had the pleasure to meet him and tell you about it. Keep up the good work Robert it will pay off!

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