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It’s been cold…and here in Arizona cold can be anything under 60-degrees. We’re kind of wimps when it comes to winter weather.

Being from the East Coast, this cold is like a breath of fresh air, but when it drops into the low 30’s and upper 20’s at night, it can mean bad news for your plumbing.

We’ve talked a lot about how to keep your pipes from freezing this year, but what about diagnosing a frozen pipe…

How do you know if a pipe has frozen?

Not all freezing pipes burst…

But, when one does, it’s because water expands when it freezes, adding considerable pressure on unyielding plumbing pipes. That pressure can cause a tiny leak at a joint or crack on a length of pipe, unleashing the full flow of water inside your home.

A water line coated in frost (or bulging like a well-fed python) is a good sign that it’s frozen, but not all plumbing pipes are visible.

What to do if a pipe has frozen?

If you think a plumbing pipe might have frozen, the worst thing that you can do is turn the water on. It’s when the ice begins to thaw that the worst can occur…

That’s because the frozen water may be acting as a plug, preventing water from spilling out of the cracks in your pipes.

When that plug is thawed, water gushes out. It’s a good idea to be ready with a mop, bucket, and towels in case there’s a plumbing leak.

Use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen length of pipe.

If a plumbing pipe does burst when it’s beginning to thaw, shut off the main water immediately. Then give our Gilbert plumbing experts a call. We’ll take care of it!