Recently, we wrote about what you can do to prevent pipes throughout the home from freezing. Still, you may be caught by surprise this season if your pipes still manage to freeze up, or if you’ve accidentally passed over a pipe while insulating and winterizing your plumbing.
This week, we want to talk about what you should do if your pipes do freeze. This is a very serious problem. Of course, there is the lack of access to water. But also, frozen pipes can expand and burst rather easily. You should act fast to get the pipes back to normal and, hopefully, prevent a plumbing emergency.
Keep the Faucet Open
You open up a tap in the home, only to discover a frozen pipe is stopping the water from flowing. Keep this faucet open as you narrow down the source of the problem. As you thaw the pipe, water will drip from the faucet, which lets you know it’s working. Besides, you don’t want to let the thawing pipe cause the pipe to expand even more.
What to Use to Thaw the Pipes
You could call a plumber to help you thaw the pipes, but most of the time, this is easier to do on your own. All you need is a hair dryer and some time, an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, or even some towels soaked in hot water. Continue until the water pressure returns.
What NOT to Use to Thaw the Pipes
An open flame should never be used to thaw pipes. You should never use a blowtorch, a charcoal stove, or any heating source that uses kerosene or propane.
What to Do Afterwards
After you thaw out the pipes, you should take the proper steps to prevent the problem from coming back. Wrap the exposed pipe area in heat tape or a similar insulating material to prevent freezing. Make sure heat can reach the pipe by opening up the door or cupboard.
For help with this and other plumbing tasks, call Evans Plumbing Inc. We can service your plumbing system in Hailey, ID or a surrounding area, and we are happy to help in whatever way we can.