What to Do About Frozen Pipes

Frozen PipesWith winter in full swing, staying warm and cozy is the top priority, especially during winter storms and below freezing temperatures. With the frigid temperatures, pipes can easily freeze, it difficult to stay warm and carry out everyday tasks. If you’re experiencing colder than normal temperatures, it’s important to keep an eye on your pipes to help avoid costly repairs.

Pipes Most Vulnerable to Freezing

Not all pipes in your home are equally susceptible to freezing as others. The pipes in your home that are exposed to outdoor, freezing temperatures are most vulnerable to freezing. By draining these pipes, thoroughly insulating them, and storing hoses inside will help decrease the chances of freezing.

Nonetheless, keeping an eye on these pipes will help reduce the changes of freezing:

  • Outdoor hose bibs
  • Pool supply lines
  • Sprinkler lines
  • Pipes in unheated areas – attic, garage, basement, crawlspaces
  • Pipes along an exterior wall

How to Tell if You Have Frozen Pipes

The easiest way to tell if you have frozen pipes is if you have no water supply coming out of your sink or if the water pressure from the water supply line is slowly trickling out. If your water supply is slowly trickling out but still aren’t sure if your pipes are frozen, look out for these signs:

  • Frost on the outside of exposed pipes
  • Low temperatures for long periods of time – the longer there are below freezing temperatures (32 degrees), the chances of your pipes freezing increases

What to Do About Frozen Pipes

If you notice frozen pipes in your home, it’s important to act fast. The faster your frozen pipes are thawed, the less damage there will be.  While waiting for your local plumber, give these thawing tips a try:

  • Keep your heat turned up in your home (especially when the temperatures are hitting 10 degrees and lower). Some people like it cooler at night and turn down their heat, but it gets even colder in the night and this is when the unimaginable happens with frozen and burst pipes.
  • Open up cabinets in your home under sinks to allow for the warm heated air to circulate the pipes under sinks.
  • Prevention Tip: You can also turn on a trickle of warmer water through your pipes to help prevent them freezing. Some people do this at night or when temperatures are brutal.
  • Feel free to add a space heater in troublesome areas of your home like the basement or where a fixture seems to be just trickling out water.
  • If you have an isolated frozen line, for example kitchen sink, you could attempt to use a hair dry and blow hot air on the pipe.
  • Never use a direct heat source such as a torch or flame to try heating pipes, especially in walls. People have attempted this and have burnt down their homes using this type of method.

If you notice frozen pipes in your home, give Plumbing 911 a call today at (866) 720-0911.

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