When the weather turns extremely cold, water supply pipes are prone to freezing and bursting. Plumbers often tell you how to prevent pipes from freezing but they don’t always tell you what to do if your pipes have already frozen. Here are some steps you can take to remedy frozen pipes safely. If you follow these tips you may be able to avoid or minimize serious damage
- Shut-off the water main leading into the structure and open (not wide open, just open) any faucets connected to the pipe. This will reduce pressure on the frozen pipes and minimize flooding if the pipes burst. This is particularly important if you are going to be away from home.
- If the frozen pipe is exposed and visible, use a hair dryer or space heater to thaw the ice blockage. Do not use an open flame and keep space heaters far enough away from walls and flammable materials to avoid fire risk!
- Examine exposed pipes for leaks. Even with the water main turned off, there will be enough pressure to reveal leaks once the pipe has thawed.
- Contact a professional plumber equipped with pipe-thawing equipment to get your pipes flowing again and if necessary, make repairs to damaged pipes.
- Even if no leaks are found, a plumber should examine pipes that experienced a hard freeze. Some pipes may need to be replaced since the material has experienced stretching and fatigue, putting the pipes at risk for future failure.
Keep in mind when the pipes thaw, they may begin spewing water inside walls if the pipe has burst. The resulting flooding can quickly cause serious property damage. Many Roto-Rooter locations provide water restoration services as well as plumbing services so we can offer one stop service to home and business owners who are dealing with all problems associated with frozen pipes.