Because Chicago winters can have freezing temps, it is a great idea to be extra careful in order to prevent pipes from freezing or breaking.
Winter is tough on plumbing especially when the temperature drops. A burst pipe can cost a home or business owner thousands of dollars in damage and fees.
Ensuring that your pipes are winterized will help to keep them from freezing and then erupting in a watery costly mess in your home or office. It only takes a small bit of prep work to help keep yur property warm and dry and prevent these costly expenses from occurring.
In This Article, We Will Be Covering:
- Why pipes burst in the winter
- What to do with frozen pipes
- How to prevent burst pipes during winter
- How to avoid frozen pipes
- What to do when pipes freeze
- Who to call for a burst pipe
- What are the top five common plumbing emergencies and how to fix them
- Why choose Plumbers 911 for your frozen pipe repair
Why Do Pipes Burst in the Winter?
Pipes become unstable as the temperature drops to freezing, the water expands and can break the walls of the pipe.
Once the climate starts to heat up the water melts and you get the ugly mess of water damage and costly fees from technicians that will have to be called for to fix the issue.
It is important to call one of our experts immediately when a water pipe bursts in a home or office (as some home insurance companies will not pay for DIY repairs, if there is damage to the home). It is also important to know exactly what your insurance company will and will not cover in these types of emergencies.
Old homes are more likely to have frozen pipes than new homes, however, it can happen to anyone. It depends on where the pipes are located and the amount of insulation the pipes have, as well as the weakness of the metal or plastic spots on the pipes that may not be insulated. These particular pipes are ones that will be more apt to burst than ones that are strong and/or insulated.
Frozen Pipes: What to Do When the Pipes Burst in Your Home
When the temperature does drop to frigid temperatures, and pipes do burst in your home or office there are things you should immediately do:
- Turn off your water and, if mandatory, the power. This can be done by shutting off the home’s main water supply. You should know where your main shut of valve is before issues arise. However, if you live in condos or apartments, ensure that you contact your building superintendent, manager or landlord about the water issue.
- Always have an expert’s number handy, as a burst pipe doesn’t wait for a specialist to be on the clock.
- Get rid of any water. Fluid left behind by water can cause mold and mildew that is dangerous to humans. Use buckets, plenty of towels, wet/dry vacuum, and even fans can help to dry and pull up the water from carpets and floors.
- Call your insurance company. Letting your insurance company know ahead of time what is going on is a good idea as they may have other steps that you need to take to ensure you are covered for any damages that may have occurred.
- To prevent issues with your lines, it is best to winterize your pipes which will help to lower the possibility of having these types of problems.
Pipes Freezing 101: How to Prevent Burst Pipes in Winter
Your pipes are an important system in your home. In the winter, if a pipe freezes and bursts — this system fails, and can cause costly repairs for your or the property owner. Ensuring that your pipes are well-insulated will help to keep them from freezing.
Our technicians can replace or add insulation to your pipes, which includes the ones that are outside as they are particularly vulnerable as well. We can also ensure any cracks are fixed so that the pipes aren’t weak.
Weak pipes are more apt to burst. Having our licensed contractors flush the water from your sprinkler systems and even your outside kitchen hose lines will help keep them from freezing.
- For pipes that are not insulated, circulation of heat in a storage room is crucial to prevent pipes from freezing. Make sure that cabinets under the sink are opened, while dripping a trickle of cold and hot water overnight.
- Avoid running water into a non-insulated drainage pipe that is unprotected from subzero temperatures as this might become frozen.
- Better yet, have them insulated, especially those in areas without proper heating or those located in non-insulated external walls, the garage or in hard to reach spaces.
- You may also try covering the non-insulated and exposed ones with heat tape, otherwise called thermostat-controlled heat cables, to keep them from freezing.
- You might also want to turn the heat on, setting it at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Know where the main water valve is exactly located. Typically, it is found in the basement, in external walls, or in a utility area in your home. To shut it down, turn it clockwise. You should also know where the different emergency shutdown valves in your house are.
- Install a water leak protection system. Although this can be costly, it can protect your home and your investment by offering an alarm and automatic shutdown when leaks are detected in your dishwasher, your water heater, your sinks, your pipes, etc.
Call us immediately if you think you have a broken line or if you suspect you have a cracked pipe. Don’t wait for the problem to get worse!
How to Avoid Frozen Pipes
- Always keep the heat on if you are leaving home.
- Keep the garage door closed to help keep heat in if your laundry room or a bathroom is close to it.
- Small space heaters will help circulate and give heat to bathrooms that have pipes running along outside walls.
- Drip faucets when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing especially on faucets near an exterior wall. This will eliminate pressure between the faucet and a possible ice blockage so a pipe may not burst.
- Ensure crawl spaces, and any cracks in the foundation or walls are sealed off to keep cold air from coming into the home.
- Call us to winterize your water system inside and out.
- Use spigot covers on your outside spigots.
Why Water Pipes Burst When They Freeze
When extremely cold weather combines with chilly winds, there is a considerable chance that your pipes might burst.
Pipe water in subzero temperatures is turned into ice, expanding and blocking the line.
As a result, this obstruction drastically increases pressure all throughout the entire system, causing vulnerability and failure.
Unfortunately, this phenomenon does not spare any pipe however strong the material may be, whether it is steel, copper or plastic. In other words, pressure spares nothing.
A singular and tiny crack unleashes over 250 gallons of water in twenty four hours. Burst pipes result in severe property damage, costly repairs and business interruption.
What to do When Pipes Freeze
1. Immediately turn off your home’s water supply valve upon any suspicion pointing to a broken pipe. This significantly reduces the pressure, minimizes water wastage and flooding, and limits the damage to your home.
2. Shutting down your home’s main power must be done immediately, especially if the problematic lines are in dangerously close proximity to electrical switches.
3. After having switched off the water and power supply, appliances and furniture should be moved to a safe area away from the damaging water. After all, there’s no assurance that insurance can replace or cover everything.
4. If you’ve located the frozen pipe and it is accessible, try thawing it using a hairdryer. Never ever resort to using open flame for thawing as this can be very dangerous.
Make sure that the faucet connected to the problematic pipe is open. This allows the safe diffusion of steam and water that will come out due to the thawing process.
Also make sure to thaw a pipe starting from the faucet and working backward to the other end of the frozen line. As the ice melts, steam and water is safely diffused out through the open faucet.
Starting anywhere in the middle of the frozen line will turn ice into steam, trapping it and building considerable pressure to rupture the pipe.
5. Drain your water system as speedily as you can. You can do this by turning on every single faucet in your home, as well as flushing the toilets. By doing so, you are helping disperse or distribute water and pressure away from the burst pipes, effectively draining the remaining water in the pipes.
To speed up the draining process, it would be helpful to safely turn off your home’s heaters, which includes the boiler and the central heating, before turning on all hot water faucets in your home.
6. While in the process of draining, it only makes sense to, somehow or other, gather the water gushing from the broken pipes to minimize the damage to the walls, the ceiling, the floor, as well as appliances and furniture. Use any possible vessel within reach, such as pots and pans, buckets, vases or basins.
7. After having contained and controlled the situation to a certain degree, call us ASAP. Our professional technicians will be there in no time to assess and fix the situation.
8. Contact and notify your insurance provider regarding the damages and losses in your home. Your chances of claiming insurance would be considerably better if you take pictures and write down the details of the incident.
Who to Call for a Burst Pipe
There are many reasons to contact our technicians for any issues you may have with your water system. The most important is safety if you are unsure of what you are doing with your water system.
This can make matters much worse, and a licensed, well-trained specialist can ensure that your issues are taken care of quickly and safely.
We are available 24/7 at your convenience. Our technicians and specialists are highly trained and up to date on all the latest technological advances in plumbing as well as the tools to use to repair your issues.
So, before winter gets here, have our local Chicago plumbers winterize your pipes now to prevent any costly issues from taking place.
Plumbing Basics: Top Five Common Plumbing Emergencies (and how to fix them yourself)
There are a lot of perks to being a homeowner. You have your own place that you can do pretty much whatever you want to with it, invite all your friends and family over and still have your own space to call home.
But with great living space, comes great responsibilities. There are a couple of common hiccups that you may end up being faced with as a homeowner, and a lot of them are plumbing related.
So, we’ve narrowed it down for you to the top five common residential plumbing emergencies that you may be faced with at some point. But we’ve also included how to fix them yourself if you ever have to.
- Burst Pipes
This is at the top of our list because it is the most common plumbing emergency for many homeowners. The first thing that you’re going to need to do is stop freaking out, and call us.
That isn’t where it stops though, you need to shut down the water before your burst pipe destroys all of your earthy possessions.Find the shut off valve for the plumbing in your home and turn that off. This will stop the water from flooding everywhere.
You’re going to have to go through your whole house and turn on all of the cold-water taps to drain the pipes.Switch off your geyser as well. Like boiling a kettle without water in it, you could do damage to the heating element. Wait for our professionals to repair the burst pipe.
- Frozen Pipes
Freezing temperatures and water in pipes are not a great combination. When the water freezes, it can cause the pipes to expand which can end up having the pipes burst.
While you can’t always shut off the main valve whenever winter rolls around, pay attention to whether any water is pouring from your taps when you switch it on.If your pipe hasn’t split yet, get hot water bottles and thaw them out.
Start from the end of the pipe that is closest to the faucet, but remember to thaw it gently. Older homes seem to have this problem, but it is still a possibility. Perhaps look into having new insulation installed before the next cold spell.
- Leaking Pipe Fixtures
Is anything more annoying than a dripping tap? This can be caused by one of two things, either the washer is worn out or the fixtures trap is a bit clogged up.Start by closing the shut off valve to avoid a flood.
Then, check the fixture trap for anything that could be clogging up the fixture. Debris can cause an overflow, which causes that nasty leaking fixture.
- Blocked Drains and Toilets
A blocked drain or toilet can do more damage if it goes unattended for too long. You don’t have to call in a plumber though until you try unclogging it yourself.
Here’s how: Using either a plunger or a plumbing snake, try dislodging whatever is causing the blockage. When all else fails, contact our professionals.
Plumbing needs are not one-size-fits-all. The local climate, weather, and other factors of different regions of the country makes the challenges of installing and maintaining plumbing, heating and cooling systems different depending on where you live. It’s important that the technicians you hire understand these individual needs.
Why Choose Plumbers 911 for Your Frozen Pipe Repair and Plumbing Issues in Chicago
Don’t wait until you actually experience ruptured pipes. Early on, you should know who to call when emergency situations like this present themselves. Choose a company you can trust and depend on. Plumbers 911 is your most reliable option.
- We have a team of trained, certified, skilled and experienced plumbing technicians who can make quick and accurate diagnoses, as well as implement a plan of action efficiently and professionally.
- We are a network of locally-based professionals that love living in this state as much as you do. We understand the needs of Chicago homeowners, and have worked in many homes all over the state and beyond — just ask your neighbors!
- We display cleanliness and organizational skills from beginning to end, strictly following hygienic and sanitary procedures.
- We are prompt and punctual as permitted by distance and circumstances. If the emergency happens during inconvenient times of the day, perhaps almost nearing midnight or in the wee hours of the morning, we will be there as soon as we possibly could, considering the untimely circumstances. You’ll rest assured though that we will be there on time in the case of scheduled visits.
- Aside from handling basic repairs and emergency circumstances, our specialization also extends to remodeling and renovation.
- We have many satisfied customers from throughout the state who are glad they chose Plumbers 911, and we’re confident that you’ll feel the same.
- When you contact us, we will connect you immediately with an entire network of local plumbing experts, who can provide any heating or plumbing services you might need.
- There’s no time of day or night that one of our technicians isn’t available to respond to plumbing emergencies. That means 24/7 service you can trust.
- Because we have plumbing professionals located all over the state of IL, there will always be one near your Chicago home able to respond to your plumbing needs.
- We make sure that every single plumbing technician associated with Plumbers 911 is a fully licensed plumber, and all are talented and well-trained at what they do. You can rest assured that our experts are the best in the plumbing and heating fields.
- Every technician is constantly updating their knowledge of the most up-to-date plumbing methods and technologies, so that you receive the best possible service.
- All of our plumbing and heating contractors receive thorough background checks, so you can feel comfortable welcoming them into your Chicago home.
- All of our techs are dedicated to providing the highest level of professional service. They arrive in clean, well-marked vehicles and are always dressed in a uniform.
- We use only top-quality heating and plumbing supplies, so the work our technicians do will last for years to come.
- We are committed to offering the best quality service at the most competitive price in Illinois.
- Don’t take our word for it. Prior customers’ testimonials will make you feel secure in your choice of plumbing and heating services in the area.
- For any type of plumbing concern, either your pipes are frozen or your toilet needs replacement, contact us and we would gladly help!