Five Things To Do If Your Pipes Freeze
This cold weather can be a very stressful time for homeowners, especially when it comes to frozen pipes.
Over the past day and a half I had been dealing with frozen pipes in my bathroom. When I went to wash my hands Monday evening, I turned on the faucet and no water came out. My heart instantly sank. So I did what I always do when something bad happens like that, I called my dad. It was odd because my dual sinks in my bathroom were the only faucets that wouldn't work (they are located all the way at the end of my house furthest from the water line outside). The tub, shower, and toilet, as well as all of the other faucets in the house all worked fine. We knew that the pipe had to be frozen somewhere between the sink and the bathtub.
We contacted a plumber friend and he advised us to look under the house to make sure there was no leak. We did, on several occasions. He also told us to open up the cabinets and to place a space heater in front of them to try to get some heat on the pipes. This process was said to take possibly a day to work. Sure enough, on Tuesday afternoon the sinks got water to them! I can't tell you how much of a relief that was. As you know, frozen or busted pipes can cost you thousands of dollars to fix. That's thousands of dollars that most people, including myself, don't have!
So if you're dealing with frozen pipes at your house, you might be frantically trying to figure out what to do. I can officially say that I have been there before. You hear all about how you can prevent pipes from freezing, including turning on your faucet just enough to create a drip and opening your cabinet doors under sinks to circulate heat, but you don't hear too many things about what you should do if your pipes are already frozen.
Roto-Rooter suggests five things that you should do in the event that your pipes freeze.
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.
Roto-Rooter also recommends that even if you don't find leaks under the house, you should still have a plumber come by to check out the pipes to see if there was any damage caused by the freeze.
Hopefully this helps you out in the event that your pipes freeze...which hopefully they don't!
15 Life Hacks the Tri-State Swears By