Tips to Prevent, and What to Do if Your Water Pipes Burst
The current weather here in Central Texas, and really across the country, can cause a bunch of different issues, among them, burst pipes. So what can you do to help prevent it and what do you do if it happens?
The Temple Police Department had this on their Facebook page.
Let's go a little deeper though.
What to do if you suspect a frozen pipe?
There's a couple of things you can do if you think you have a frozen pipe. First, try using a hair dryer to thaw it out. A heating pad or warming cloth can help too.
Why do the pipes burst?
Frozen water inside the pipes adds to the pressure that's building up inside the pipe. Joe Bany with John Moore Services told KHOU*11, “What we are dealing with now is hard ice inside of the pipe and it had nowhere to go, and it just keeps pushing on the pipe until it explodes."
During the freeze you should turn off your water or let a little drip from each faucet in the house. The drip keeps water moving inside the pipes making it harder to freeze. Yes, it may increase your water bill but considering the alternative, it may be worth it. Shutting off your water completely is also a good idea but first make sure you have enough to get you through.
It's also a good idea to wrap outdoor faucets in a plastic bag to help keep them dry. Also, it's helpful to find the main water main valve so you can shut it off if you need to.
How do you know if your pipes are frozen?
The best way, and most obvious, is if your faucet isn't working or if your toilet isn't refilling after you flush it. Those are both signs of a frozen pipe. If that is happening, it's best to shut off the water completely.
What to do if the pipes burst?
Quickly build an ark and float to safety. I'm kidding of course but you should shut off the main water-main valve and call a plumber. Keep in mind that with current weather and road conditions, it may take a while for crews to show up and assist you. Perhaps a little preparation could also be knowing what 24-hour plumbers are available so if this happens in the middle of the night, you know who you're going to call.
You should also shut off the electricity to the affected area of the house. Also you should begin clean up right away to prevent mold and mildew buildup. If If flooring, walls or ceilings are severely damaged, you'll need to consider getting hold of a contractor.
Hopefully we all make it through this without damage but just incase, I hope these tips help.