Freezing of drainage pipes is a common plumbing problem. Unless a pipe is installed above the ground, it can be difficult to establish that frozen water within the pipes is the cause of your plumbing woes.
This article looks at frozen drain pipes from a holistic point of view to leave you better informed about this common plumbing problem.
Frozen Pipes Are a Plumbing Emergency
It may not sound like it, but frozen drain pipes are indeed a plumbing emergency. Many homeowners do not believe this because they expect that frozen water in the pipe will melt away with time.
Your drain pipes could easily burst as you wait for the frozen water to melt. Remember that freezing makes water expand. This expansion will exert a lot of outward pressure on your drain pipes.
If there's too much pressure exerted on the walls of your drain pipes, they will give in and rupture. You might end up having to replace your drain pipes as a consequence of not having the frozen pipes thawed in good time.
Your Hair Dryer Might Be of Help
If you're able to identify the location of a frozen pipe, you might not need to call in a plumber to help you with this situation.
Unfreezing a frozen pipe could be as easy as using an electric hair dryer to heat the frozen section of the pipe in order to melt the ice. If you don't have a hairdryer, you could dip a towel or similar cloth in hot water and then wrap it around the frozen pipe.
Doing this repeatedly will end up unfreezing your pipes. It is important to point out that sources of heat that have open flames should not be used for pipe thawing due to the dangers involved in working with open flames.
Insulation Could Help Prevent Future Problems
What happens after your frozen-pipe situation is taken care of? How will you best ensure that you won't have to call in an emergency plumber or unfreeze pipes on your own again in the recent future?
Plumbing experts advise that you should invest in quality insulation material for your drain pipes. Insulation helps to maintain higher temperatures around your drainage pipes, making it more difficult for water in the pipes to freeze.
Do not wait for the frozen water to melt on its own, as it probably won't. Grab your dryer or call in an emergency plumber immediately.