Winter in the GTA/Toronto can be both beautiful and challenging. While the snow-covered landscapes create a picturesque setting, the plummeting temperatures pose numerous problems, especially when it comes to plumbing. Understanding why freezing water lines a significant concern during the winter season can be essential.
Living in Canada, we know our temperatures can fluctuate from 10 degrees in the evening to -10 by morning. We know at A1 Emergency Plumbing that once Autum ends, paying attention to frozen water lines is a priority come Winter.
Burst Water Pipes and the Expensive Repairs:
The worst and most severe consequence of having your water lines freezing is the potential for the pipes to burst. As the water begins to freeze in the pipe, it will start to expand. This expansion time will all depend on the location of the piping and the temperatures around it. As the water begins to freeze and the ice expands within the pipe, the pipe walls begin to expand – as the line will burst or at the very least crack, causing potential problems in the future.
A burst water line can end up leading to extensive damage throughout your home – affecting your pocket and mental health. More so, plumbing emergencies often occur when you least expect them.
Loss of Water to Home Fixtures:
If a water line in your home was to freeze, this would cause a blockage of water flow to all or specific fixtures in your home. As a result of the pipe freezing, the water will not be permitted to flow through the faucet(s).
To help mitigate the pipes from potentially freezing, we would recommend letting one of your faucets trickle a constant flow of water. This will allow the water in your pipes to move rather than stand still – allowing a greater chance of the pipes potentially freezing.
Ensure proper heating:
Piping can be insulated with various materials from fiber glass wrap to spray foam. Electric heated (thermal wrap) lines can also be applied to copper water lines to ensure adequate temperatures to prevent freezing. This lack of insulation allows the cold to penetrate the pipes, making them susceptible to freezing.
Cold air entering a small crawl space or header that has water lines can cause a significant temperate fluctuation. When the temperature of the air around the pipe falls, the change in fluctuation can cause immediate pipe to freeze.
Exposed Exterior Pipes:
If you have water lines running alongside your home or are exposed in the open, we highly recommend draining these lines prior to the winter season. One of the most common leaks we find is a garage hose bib or a hose bib on the side of the home bursting. This occurs because the line wasn’t drained before the freezing season began. We recommend installing a frost-free hose bib over the conventional exterior hose bibs.
Just remember, no pipe is safe from certain temperatures. No matter the materials used, be it PVC, ABS, COPPER, PEX or STEEL – they are all prone to freezing and bursting.
At A1 Emergency Plumbing, all we ask is that you turn off your building main shut off, in the event of a burst pipeline.
We have equipment to cover repairs of all types of pipes available. Our deicer machine can also assist with mitigating a potential burst water line due to freezing when the pipe is inaccessible in tight crawl spaces. Our equipment can melt ice within a copper pipe in sections – to help mitigate the chance of the line bursting before it happens.
If you encounter freezing water line issues or suspect any potential issues with your plumbing systems, contact us! We specialize in winter plumbing solutions, no matter how low the temperatures drop.