Home Emergencies 101: What to Do About Frozen Pipes

Dependable Service Since 1926

It is a major nightmare for every homeowner – having a pipe burst in the middle of the night and waking up to a flooded home. 

With the weather tipping more frigid in many parts of the country, there has never been a better time to prepare for the dangers of bursting, frozen pipes.

When Home Emergencies Means Frozen Pipes  

Home emergencies are typically met with both emotional and financial resistance, yet, also, an understanding it needs to be met with prompt action. 

You can hope that your pipes will survive the cold winter season, and you can do what you can to insulate them and protect them. Even so, it is important to know what to do if your pipes do freeze. 

Here are the essential steps you should know:  

  1. Take extra steps to protect your pipes when extremely low temperatures are in the forecast. Keep your kitchen sink and vanity open to encourage air flow, and allow the sinks to trickle a little water to make freezing unlikely.
  2. Know the signs of a frozen pipe. Often the first indication that your pipes have frozen is a lack of water flow at the faucet. You should immediately suspect frozen pipes if the water fails to come on.
  3. Find and turn off the main water valve at its source. Make sure every member of the family knows where the water main is and how to shut it down.
  4. Never use an open flame or electrical appliance (like a hair dryer) to thaw frozen pipes. Flames from a blowtorch create an obvious fire hazard, and using an electrical appliance near water poses a risk of electrocution.
  5. Check each pipe in turn until you find the one that has frozen. Use a certified heating tape to slowly thaw the pipe.
  6. Wait and exercise patience. It can take many hours for a thoroughly frozen pipe to thaw out. Avoid the temptation to turn the water main back on and test the pipe. Wait for it to thaw completely before proceeding.
  7. Use two people to turn the water back on after the frozen pipe has been thawed and repaired. Turn the water on slowly while your helper goes around the house and makes sure there are no water leaks.
  8. Contact a certified plumber at Bell Plumbing and Heating as soon as possible to have the pipes thoroughly inspected. The pipe that froze may have experienced damage as a result of the freezing, and it could burst the next time the weather turns cold.

The cold weather presents a number of challenges for homeowners, including the danger of freezing and bursting pipes. Prevention is always the best strategy when it comes to protecting your pipes, but knowing what to do in an emergency is just as essential. 

For any other questions or concerns regarding how to properly handle frozen pipes during the colder months, contact us today.  

The Author:

Bell Plumbing & Heating has been providing customers with plumbing and heating services since 1926, but that’s not all we do today. We also offer kitchen and bathroom remodeling services (we’ve been remodeling kitchens and bathrooms for over 50 years now), drain and sewer line services, and electrical repairs and installations.

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