How To Deal With Frozen Pipes

How To Deal With Frozen Pipes

Over the past few weeks, Heritage technicians have responded to calls and assisted several of our customers who have had heating issues due to frozen pipes. In some extreme cases, customers were in need of help because pipes burst in their homes. It makes sense to remain vigilant when it comes to the pipes and heating system in your home, as there may be a few more cold days ahead. Below are a few things you can do to avoid frozen pipes, or things that can be done to deal with frozen pipes and their effects.

How Do I Keep Frozen Pipes from Breaking?

Dripping kitchen faucetAllow water from the faucets in the home to drip. This is not to keep the pipes from freezing, but rather this will keep water pressure from building up in the pipes. This pressure is often the actual cause of burst pipes. A few things to consider:

  • The drip can be slight.
  • If both hot and cold line feed into one spigot, open both faucets.
  • If the dripping stops keep the faucets open.

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How Do I Thaw Frozen Pipes?

Before attempting to thaw frozen pipes on your own, the first thing you should do is call a plumber. The frozen section may be in an area that is not easily accessible or may require the equipment, experience, and ability that a trained professional can provide. There may also be issues that occur once the pipes have thawed that will require repairs. Should you decide to attempt to thaw the pipes while awaiting a plumber, a hand-held hair dryer can be used. Begin by slowly applying heat closest to the faucet end of the frozen pipe and then work toward the coldest section of the pipe. Be sure that the faucet is open, do not use any sort of open flame on the pipes, and be cautious if you are standing in water while attempting to thaw the frozen pipe.

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What If My Pipes Burst?

pipes burstIf a frozen pipe bursts, you could end up with a flooded home and a large amount of water damage once the ice thaws. The very first thing that you should do is turn off the water to the home at the shut-off valve. This valve may be located near the water meter or the well holding tank if you have your own private well. Should the main shut-off valve not work, call you local Public Works Department immediately.

If there is a flood in the basement due to the burst and there may be the possibility of either live electrical cords, electrical outlets that are submerged, or any worry about safety please call a plumber or your local Public Works Department and wait for a professional to solve the problem.

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