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Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipe Repair

In the Lower Mainland winters are relatively mild compared to the rest of Canada. However when very cold weather descends upon Metro Vancouver the combination of low temperatures and wind chill factors create frozen pipe repair problems.

As the weather gets colder in the winter months think about keeping your plumbing, drainage and pipes in good working order to avoid expensive repair costs from a frozen pipe and the associated problems. Preventative maintenance is the key to avoiding frozen pipes.

When you find yourself with a frozen pipe emergency or if you think you have a frozen pipe SWR Drain Service Ltd. is just one phone call away at 604 596 0131. SWR Drain Service Ltd. provides professional services that can protect you from the expenses and the headaches that are common with frozen pipes. We can also repair burst frozen pipes.

Causes of Frozen Pipes

In a situation where there is a combination of extremely cold weather and wind chills the contents of your pipes in unheated areas of your property will freeze. As the contents within the pipe(s) freeze, the ice formed expands and creates a blockage in the pipes. Not only can a blockage occur, the expanding frozen contents can create enough pressure to actually burst the pipe. Frozen pipes can burst no matter what they are made from. Even a small crack in a pipe can release as much as 950 liters of water per day! When pipes freeze and burst property damage often occurs resulting in high costs to repair the damage to a home, business or strata building.

Some particular areas around your property of concern for susceptibility to freezing pipes are:

  • The irrigation system for watering your property.
  • Your hose bibs for watering the garden.
  • Any piping in unheated areas like your garage, crawlspace attic or unheated basement areas.
  • The water and drainage lines for your pond or swimming pool in the yard.
  • The pipes in your exterior walls that are not properly insulated.
  • Pipes in cabinets against a poorly insulated exterior wall.
  • Water supply lines and sewage lines in your yard that are not installed below the frost line.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Generally, pipes that are located outside the house or in higher places (attics, garages, etc.) are more prone to freezing. Here are a few tips to prevent frozen pipes. In the fall or just before winter sets in:

  • Drain all your pools, swimming pool and irrigation systems and their associated piping.
  • Close up outside vents to the unheated areas of your home or building. E.g. crawlspace vents
  • Remove, drain and put away your yard hoses.
  • If you do not have frost free hose bibs, turn off the water supply to your outdoor hose bibs, drain them and leave them open so any condensation that collects and freezes has space to escape. Better yet, install frost free hose bibs.
  • Insulate all water and sewer lines in unheated areas. E.g. crawlspaces, garages, attics, unheated basement areas
  • If your water supply line or sewer line to the city connection are not below the frost line, have these lowered before the ground freezes.
  • Relocate any exposed pipes to a warmer location.
  • During cold weather
    • Open the doors to your cabinets along outside walls to allow the heat in the room into the cabinet thus keeping the pipes warm.
    • Keep the heat on during the night and when away. Set the minimum temperature to 13C to keep the chill off in the house.
    • If going away for any amount of time, turn off and drain your hot water tank.
    • Keep the tap that is the farthest from where the city water comes into your home running a little or dripping to help keep the water moving.
  • Frozen Pipes Emergency

    If you discover or think you have frozen pipes follow these steps:

    • Shut off the water main leading into your house – this will help reduce flooding if the pipe bursts. Also as the water defrosts there will be a gush of pressure as the water starts to move again.
    • If the frozen pipe is exposed try to thaw the ice blockage using a hair dryer or heater (Note: do not use an open flame).
    • When the frozen pipe is not visible call SWR Drain Service Ltd. at 604 596 0131 as we have professional pipe thawing equipment.
    • If you’re not sure if you have a frozen pipe but your have noticed slower water flow call SWR Drain Service Ltd. immediately.

    Burst Pipe Emergency

    Got a burst pipe from your pipes freezing? Turn off the water supply and call SWR Drain Service Ltd. right away at 604 596 0131. Our staff answers our phone line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    While you wait for us to arrive, clean up the water from the burst pipe as best as you can to avoid costly damage and restoration charges.

    Before our technician leaves ask that your water shut off valve be checked in case it is at a stage where it should be replaced. You will want it functioning properly next time you have an emergency.

    SWR Drain Service Ltd. – the company to call when you have frozen pipes. 604 596 0131 Servicing the Metro Vancouver area since 1970.

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