Look Out for These Signs of a Frozen Pipe

Three Indicators of Frozen Pipes 

Winter is here, meaning one of the biggest threats to a home’s plumbing is lurking outside. Cold temperatures in the winter can cause pipes to freeze, leading to all kinds of trouble. Some of the most common complications arising from frozen pipes include:

Luckily these problems are avoidable simply by recognizing the signs that something is wrong early and calling a plumber for help. Here is a list of the most easily recognizable signs that pipes in a home are frozen. If any of these signs are noticed, homeowners should take immediate action to keep the problem from worsening. 

Low Water Pressure 

faucetThe first sign that pipes are freezing is a loss of water pressure to certain fixtures around the home. As lines get cold, the water in them starts to freeze from the outside inwards. This causes a restriction in the pipe that can affect the pressure and volume of water that comes from the lines. 

Low water pressure is a bad sign because it means that the pipe is very close to freezing completely and potentially bursting. To help combat this problem, homeowners can turn the water on to the fixture experiencing a loss of water pressure and let the water flow until pressure is restored. It is a good idea to run both the hot and cold water valves during this time to ensure neither one is freezing. After restoring water pressure, they can leave the faucets dripping slowly to keep water flowing through the pipe instead of freezing. 

Frost on Pipes 

The second obvious sign that a pipe is freezing or frozen is frost on the line itself. While frost on the pipe is a clear confirmation that a pipe is getting cold enough to freeze, the better tip-off is that a pipe can be seen at all. Plumbing codes dictate that pipes must be buried or insulated when freezing is a threat, and in this region, unprotected pipes will be more likely to freeze during the winter. 

Some homeowners may dismiss the problem of having frost on pipes since they have lines that are “freezeproof.” Unfortunately, no such thing exists. All pipes are vulnerable to freezing, and no single piping system on the market can withstand repeated freezing. Instead, homeowners should aim to reroute exposed pipes or install insulation to ensure that pipes can’t be seen and will not freeze. 

The Bathroom Smells Like Sewage smell

Frozen pipes aren’t limited to freshwater piping. Sewer pipes can freeze as well. The obvious sign that sewer pipes or drain lines are frozen is a foul odor in the bathroom. The bad smell results from a sewage backup in the sewer line due to freezing which lets sewer gas seep back into the home. 

A new sewer line may be the only solution if this is a common problem with a home. Rerouting the sewer line and burying it deeper or providing more insulation is the only long-term solution. Until then, families will likely have to wait until the sewer pipe is defrosted by better weather or a plumber. 

About Gene’s Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical

Gene’s Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical has over 60 years of experience serving Medina, OH, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day services, and no overtime charges. Call them today for frozen or burst pipe repair in  Medina, OH.

3 Signs That It’s Time to Clean the Evaporator Coil

The Importance of Professional Evaporator Coil Cleaning 

After a summer like this one, it’s easy to see how much work the air conditioner puts in. Sure it gets a few months off in the winter, but it makes up for it when the temperatures rise. All that hard work can take a toll on the air conditioner that requires some maintenance occasionally to ensure it is always operating at peak efficiency. One of the most important steps of seasonal AC maintenance is evaporator coil cleaning. The evaporator coil is the workhorse of the air conditioner; when it is compromised, the entire system can suffer.  

In contrast to the consequences of a dirty evaporator coil, there are some clear benefits of getting it cleaned as a part of a maintenance plan. Among the benefits of AC coil cleaning are:

  • Lower utility bills
  • Shorter cooling cycles
  • More comfortable home

Here are three major signs that an evaporator coil cleaning is overdue. 

Loss of Cooling Function cooling

An air conditioner works by allowing a chemical called a refrigerant to boil or evaporate. This process causes the refrigerant to become very cold quickly. This process occurs in the evaporator coil inside the air conditioner as warm air is blown through it. The result is that the warm air becomes cool by giving its heat to the evaporated, cold refrigerant. 

When this process is impeded, the air conditioner can lose cooling power. The most common way this happens is by blocking airflow from a dirty coil. Thus, cleaning coils can restore cooling power to an air conditioner. 



Frost and Frozen Coils

An air conditioner is a finely-tuned machine. Refrigerants must be kept at specific pressures, and airflow must be kept unimpeded, or the whole system can suffer. The goal of the evaporator coil is to get as close to freezing temperatures as possible to stay efficient without freezing. 

However, when evaporator coils are dirty, airflow is impeded and can’t keep the coils above freezing. Instead of removing moisture from the air and draining away the resulting condensation, the moisture will freeze to the coil instead. This compounds the airflow problems, and frost on the coil will lead to a frozen evaporator coil. 

Longer Cycles to Cool the Home 

The air conditioner is one of the biggest energy hogs in the home, so it makes sense to spend some time and energy keeping it efficient. When evaporator coils are dirty and frozen evaporator coils are a consistent problem, the air conditioner loses efficiency and can’t keep the home cool like it once did. Energy bills will spike because the air conditioner must use longer cycles to cool the house. 

Simply schedule evaporator coil cleaning and routine maintenance from a reliable AC maintenance contractor to restore lost cooling power. In a quick visit, technicians can restore lost cooling power and save homeowners money. While most homeowners try to get this done in the spring, it is never too late to clean the coils, especially if a home is heated and cooled by heat pumps. 

About Gene’s Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical

Gene’s Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical has over 60 years of experience serving Medina, OH, and the surrounding areas. They offer straightforward pricing, same-day service, and on-time arrival. Call them today for evaporator coil services in Medina, OH.