Guest Post by Daniel Argent:
Sometimes I get questions from the online community of contractors and homeowners that I manage.
Q: In the last few days, it dropped to below freezing temperatures outside. After coming home from work and turning on the kitchen sink to start dinner, I realized there was absolutely no water exiting the faucet. All the other faucets in my home are fine. Can I unthaw the frozen pipes and avoid having to breakdown the entire wall surrounding the area where the frozen pipe is located?
A: Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a quick fix or simple solution when it comes to frozen pipes. Any plumber will tell you that the frozen pipe must be heated on both sides in an effort to unfreeze the pipe. This means having to tear down a portion of the wall. The other problem is that there is a good possibility that the frozen pipe may also have a crack in it. Remember that water expands when frozen and pipes do not, causing a pretty nasty problem. This means that after defrosting the pipe, you may have to deal with a broken pipe in the wall which is now causing a flood in your home. Definitely not fun.
The real (and best possible) solution to fixing a frozen pipe in your home is to call up a professional, reliable plumber. Let the plumber open up the wall at one side and locate the area along the pipe that is frozen. Plumbers have the necessary tools and know how to defrost the pipe, repair the crack or replace the entire pipe if the crack is too big, and then test the pipe to ensure everything is working properly.
To prevent the possibility of frozen pipes in the future, it is beneficial for homeowners to properly insulate the pipe and wall cavity before patching up the wall. A plumber will be able to tell you exactly what you will have to get to properly insulate the pipe as well as the wall cavity. The plumber will either have it on hand or it can be easily found in the plumbing section of any home improvement store.
Homeowners will continue to have to deal with frozen pipes if the exterior wall cavity where the pipe is located remains uninsulated. If you know your home does not have the proper insulation, the best time to get it taken care of is during the spring. By calling on an experienced plumber to insulate your piping, you prevent the onset of frozen pipes, which can cost a lot of money in replacements and repairs further down the road.
Daniel Argent is the community manager for TheHomeFixers.com, a place where contractors and homeowners can connect. We make it easy to find the perfect Plumber in Phoenix for your next home improvement project.