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What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

No one wants to wake up from their nice warm bed to the sound of water plinking (or spraying!) throughout the house, especially during the cold winter months. If you live somewhere that’s being hit by freezing weather this year; there’s a good chance that you’ll be dealing with frozen pipes at some point during the winter season. Whether you performed the recommended maintenance to get your pipes ready for winter or decided to give it a pass this year, there are some steps you’ll want to take quickly when your pipes freeze — or risk getting stuck with a massive mess both on your floors and throughout your plumbing systems. 

Keep Pipes Flowing

If you goofed and didn’t leave your sink dripping last night and woke up to frozen pipes, it’s not too late to open up that faucet! Even if nothing is dripping immediately, allowing the water pressure to continue coming through the pipes will help to get the ice melted more quickly. Next time, leave a tiny dripping of water going through the pipes to keep everything from freezing solid.

If you goofed and didn't leave your sink dripping last night and woke up to frozen pipes, it's not too late to open up that faucet! Even if nothing is dripping immediately, allowing the water pressure to continue coming through the pipes will help to get the ice melted more quickly.

Carefully Apply Heat

Let’s start out with what NOT to do — never use a propane heater, blowtorch or any other method of open flame on your pipes in an effort to do a quick defrost. Not only is this dangerous to yourself and your home on many levels, but it’s not going to do your pipes any good either! Instead, look for ways to slowly reduce the ice within the pipes, such as a small portable space heater that is a safe distance from any materials that could be flammable. Still having trouble? Contact your local licensed plumber for help. Electric heating pads or towels soaked in hot water are good options to slowly and cautiously thaw those pipes.

Find the Freeze Point

Finding the spot where the pipes are frozen can take some time. You’ll need to go through your home checking each sink and toilet to see where the water is failing to come through. If you have a crawl space, the freeze may have happened under your home — not fun when the weather is sub-zero! If you’re lucky, it will be somewhere that you can easily get to. Some homes have separate hot and cold water distribution networks. In this case, you may find that the cold water still works great, but hot water is frozen solid. Or vice versa. Neither option is ideal!

Need to learn more about the steps to take when your pipes are frozen — or better yet, want to protect your pipes before they freeze? Contact our professionals at Crawford Mechanical Services at 614-478-9424 or visit us online. Our 24-hour emergency service will have your plumbing and pipe problems fixed in no time (and next time, just leave the pipes dripping on the coldest nights like your overbearing family member told you to)!

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