The Problem With Fixing Outdoor Water Pipes In The Middle Of Winter

It could've been a frozen line or maybe it was just a line that was falling apart due to age–but there is one thing that is for certain: when a water line busts in the middle of winter, it can be one of the most frustrating things to contend with as a homeowner. There you will be, outside in the bitter cold, digging around in the frozen ground, and probably cursing a little under your breath with the entire situation. There is nothing funny about fixing outdoor water lines in the middle of winter. Here's a look at a few good reasons to call a pipe repair service instead. 

The frozen ground will make digging almost impossible. 

Outdoor water lines should be buried under the ground so they stay properly insulated (even though this does not always work when its super cold). The problem with this is, taking a shovel to the water-saturated ground in below-freezing temperatures can be about as easy as trying to stick a shovel through a concrete slab. You could spend hours trying to get down to the damaged pipe just to fix it if you ever get there at all. 

The combination of water and cold are not an easy opponent. 

Working with water lines can be one of the messiest jobs you ever face. However, throw in the added challenge of cold temperatures, and not only is a water pipe repair job messy, it is a huge challenge. You will get wet, you will get muddy, and you will likely find yourself feeling like you are going to freeze to death before you can get very much accomplished. When pros tackle water line repairs in the winter, they come prepared with all sorts of gear, like ground heaters and portable outdoor heaters, just so they can keep warm while they work. 

The repair compounds you would normally use may not work. 

If you dig up a broken line in the winter in an effort to simply repair it or replace a section of pipe, you will probably be surprised to find that some of the normal plumbing compound products will not set up as they should. For example, some forms of pipe glue will not harden under a certain temperature, and some will take much longer to dry than usual. This can be an extreme challenge when you need to ensure there are no leaks before you cover the pipe back up.