What Should You Do If One Of Your Pipes Freeze?

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A frozen pipe can be a serious problem if it bursts. Knowing what to do in the event that a pipe freezes can help you safely thaw the pipe and determine whether or not it's leaking as a result.

What should you do if one of your pipes freeze?

The first thing you should do if one of your pipes freeze this winter is to locate the frozen section of pipe. Usually. pipes that are positioned around the exterior walls of the house are among the first to freeze. Look under cabinets, behind wall access panels and in your basement or crawl space. The pipe will likely be covered in frost or ice. Even if it's not, it will feel icy to the touch. Once you've located the frozen pipe, your next course of action will be to inspect the pipe for a crack or breakage. If the pipe is covered in a thick enough frost, a breakage may be hard to locate.

Next, shut off the water supply to the pipe. Depending on where the pipe is located, there may be a local water supply shut off. If not, you'll have to turn off the main water supply. Once this is done, then you can thaw the pipe.

What thawing technique works best?

To thaw the pipe, you'll need a bucket of hot water, a large plastic tub, and a towel. Dip the towel in the hot water, ring it out, then drape it over the pipe. Put the large plastic tub beneath the pipe to catch the drips from the towel. When the towel gets cold, put it back in the hot water and repeat the process. Do this until the pipe is thawed. As you do this, continue checking the surface of the pipe for cracks or breakages. If you discover the pipe has burst, you'll need immediate help from one of the available plumbers in your area

How can you prevent this from happening again in the future?

Although leaving your faucet running with a trickle of warm water can help, one of the best ways to prevent this from happening again is by having your pipes insulated. Pipe insulation is made to fit around pipes and adhere to the surface. It can be installed as a DIY project. Cut the insulation to match the length of the pipes, then remove the adhesive backing and attach the product.

For more information about how to handle and avoid frozen pipes, consider contacting a professional plumber for advice.

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11 January 2016

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