On the first day of a big freeze, it’s easy to be fooled to think that it’s just a time to admire the new snow-filled landscape. The first freeze may be a time for admiration, but it’s also a time for investigation. Be sure to inspect your home’s exposed pipes that are frosted over, or even have a significant protrusion or bulge in the center of them. Frozen pipes can cause a lot of sudden damage to your home once they burst, and if they are very frozen and damaged, it may not even show until the surrounding weather conditions warm them up. Practice prevention and call a technician to inspect your home. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help thaw a pipe that has frozen.
Exposed Frozen Pipes with Visible Symptoms
If you notice an exposed pipe in your home to be visibly frozen, then begin placing towels or a bucket around the pipe, in case it ruptures or begins to slowly leak when the water melts.
Frozen Pipe attached to Faucet
If you have attempted to use a faucet, and there is no water flow due to ice obstructing its pipe, the first thing you should do is open the faucet (both the hot and cold handles). At this point, putting a space heater in the room near the pipe, using a hair dryer to thaw the pipe, turning up the heat in your home, or applying electrical heating tape directly to the pipe are options. Opening the faucet first is necessary for safety concerns because it relieves the pressure building up in the pipe system, and reduces the chances of a pipe bursting.
If you notice a frozen pipe, however, you best bet is to call a professional plumber before any extensive water damage is done to your property. You may be able to slowly thaw your pipes, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Call a Technician
If you are unsure of what is obstructing your pipe, or the frozen pipe that you see seems dangerously close to bursting, open up the faucets in your house to relieve pressure from the system, and call a technician immediately. Your health and safety is the main concern in any pipeline situation.They cause thousands worth of damage each year, and can either cause immediate damage, or wait to show themselves until warmer seasons. Remember to always shut your water off when you leave for long trips in the wintertime so that you don’t return from a trip to a costly home-repair situation.