It’s winter, which means pipes are likely freezing in some places. Frozen pipes are a common problem, but they can cause big trouble. If the frozen pipes are not addressed, there can be unavoidable damage, and professionals may be needed for extensive repairs. Fortunately, managing frozen pipes is something anyone can do. Taking care of frozen pipes is as easy as remaining diligent and following a few simple tips.
The first step to managing frozen pipes is to do what you can to prevent them from freezing. Prevention may seem like a no-brainer, but it requires work and foresight before the problem occurs. Pipes that are not directly in heated areas of the house should have insulation. Insulation can help keep the pipes from exposure to extreme temperatures. These include crawl spaces, garages, basements, bathrooms, and kitchen cabinets.
Insulation can be purchased and installed with a trip to a local hardware store. By using heat cable, heat tape, or insulation pipe sleeves and following the packaging instructions, you can replace or install insulation on these areas for protection from frozen pipes.
Managing the cold in the house, including these areas, can help keep the pipes from getting cold enough to freeze. Keeping the garage door closed can help maintain warmer temperatures in the garage. If the power goes out, using a generator to maintain the heat in the house can be a wise practice. In extreme climates letting water slowly drip through the pipes can help prevent them from freezing as well.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
To determine if the pipe is frozen, turn on the faucet. If very little or no water comes through, one or more pipes leading to it are frozen. Leave the hot, and cold water turned on once a frozen pipe is confirmed to help speed up thawing. Turning up the heat in the house can also expedite thawing. The most important thing is to heat the pipes without using any sort of open flame or torch. Thawing should begin closest to the faucet and then work further down the line. Warming the pipes can be done using hot towels, electrical heating tape, heat lamps, or hairdryers. Some of these methods can also be effective even if the pipe is on the other side of a wall.
Call A Professional
If you cannot thaw the pipes, turning off the main water valve is important. Frozen pipes can lead to pipes bursting, which may flood the house and do additional damage. If pipes cannot be thawed or if a pipe bursts, call Elite Plumbing & Heating, Inc. They have licensed plumbers waiting to provide a quick response to issues in any weather. Give us a call today! 781-438-2997