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Six Things To Look Out For When Inspecting Your Pipes This Winter

Cold winter temperatures outside can cause problems for your plumbing system. The number one cold-weather plumbing problem to be aware of is frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can cause malfunctions in your plumbing system and can even cause pipes to burst in extreme cases.

You should regularly inspect your pipes throughout the winter to make sure that they're not becoming frozen. Pipe inspections are especially important during extremely cold spells when the temperature outside drops below freezing.

The following are six things to look out for when inspecting your pipes this winter so that you know if your pipes are at risk of freezing:

Frost around pipes

When pipes made from steel, copper, or another metal freeze, frost typically will form around them. If you notice visible frost around pipes, your pipes have probably already become frozen.  Inspect visible pipes to see if frost has formed around them. You can also touch them. If they feel extremely cold, they are at risk of freezing or may have already frozen. 

Bubbling or gurgling noises within pipes

Pipes sometimes make unusual noises as they are starting to become frozen. They may start to make bubbling or gurgling noises as they become partially blocked by freezing water inside. 

Abnormally cold water coming from faucets

You should have a good idea of the typical temperature of the water coming out of your faucets when you turn the cold water on. If water is much colder than normal, your pipes are being exposed to colder temperatures than usual. This means that your pipes may freeze if you don't make sure to find the source of cold exposure and address it appropriately. 

Lack of water coming out of plumbing fixtures

Probably the biggest and most definite sign that your pipes are frozen is having no water whatsoever come out of your faucets and other plumbing fixtures. If this happens, you can guess that your pipes are frozen solid and need to be thawed out as quickly as possible to avoid damage to your home. 

Dampness in walls around pipes

Leaks often develop in pipes that are becoming frozen. Leaks are caused by increasing pressure within the pipes that causes water to burst through tiny openings. If you notice that your drywall, carpet, or ceiling is getting wet and you don't know why, your pipes may be freezing up.  

Abnormally slow water flow

Water flow will become gradually restricted within pipes as pipes freeze. If you notice that water is flowing very slowly at a time when temperatures outside are unusually low, freezing pipes are probably the cause of the problem. 

For more information about freezing pipes, call a plumber.


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