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When a water valve is exposed to Winter weather conditions, it can freeze and frequently crack. Frozen water shut off valves can occur even in occupied properties if the valve is exposed to a draft or is located outside the building. But more frequently this occurs in unoccupied homes, such as new construction or houses under renovation. However, frozen water shut off valves can occur even in occupied properties if the valve is exposed to a draft or is located outside the building.

Frozen Water Shut Off Valves

Cracked and frozen water shutoff valve

Virtually everyone knows that water expands when frozen. However, the degree of expansion correlates with the amount of water. A ball valve that is in the closed position is particularly prone to crack when the water inside it freezes. That is because the inside of the ball inside the valve body is hollowed out. When in the closed position the water inside the ball of the valve is pointed directly towards the outer sides of the valve body. At the water inside the ball freezes and expands, it pushes against and cracks the valve body.

water valve

Water valve – full port ball type

All types and sizes water valves are prone to freezing if not properly insulated or in a heated environment. During the winters of 2014 and 2015, water lines froze that had been undamaged by past winters. Simple preventative measures such as installing insulation or heat trace tape can usually prevent this. Even keeping a small amount of water running from a faucet can help prevent most freezing, as running water is less likely to freeze.
When water freezes inside of a valve pressure is created. Frozen shut off valves usually become evident when the body of the valve splits. But inside a brass ball valve, the freezing water can actually deform the inside of the ball. In this case the frozen water made it oval shaped. This makes performing a valve repair more difficult. Inserting tools inside of a now oval opening is very difficult. This is yet another reason why when dealing with frozen water shut off valves you should trust a professional.

frozen shut off valves

Cracked brass valve body

brass ball valve

Frozen water deforms the inside of the ball

Replace Cracked Or Frozen Water Shut Off Valves

Replacing cracked, or frozen water shut off valves can involve many expenses, and the potential for property damage if done improperly. Joseph L. Balkan Inc. is New York City’s largest water service line contractor, and their experience entails all practical and cost-effective ways to replace water valves. A recent addition to Balkan’s list of specialty water main tools allows for replacing most cracked or frozen water shut off valves. This is achieved with reduced potential for water damage, and with work being completed in two hours or less.

Balkan can replace almost all legal main control valves 2″ or smaller without excavating or the potential for water damage resulting from the work. Balkan provides the most cost effective and safest means to replace a main control valve available today. Leave it to Team Balkan to find cost-effective solutions for property owners who are in need of fast and efficient water line service.

Responding to the Clients needs

After one of harshest Winter’s on record, many NYC property owners suffered from frozen plumbing and water valves. The damage from frozen plumbing exceeded that of recent years. Traditionally when a water shutoff freezes and cracks the roadway has to be opened, permits secured, and a full crew sent to the scene. Alternatively, valves are changed under pressure, with the distinct possibility of damage from water.

Specialty water main tools frequently allow for a single technician to address the issue safely in an hour or two. Part of our commitment to service is being aware of specialty conditions and a client’s unique needs as they arise. Devising a way to provide faster, safer and cheaper plumbing solutions is an important part of Balkan Sewer And Water Main.

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