What To Do When Pipes Freeze


Dec 30, 2015

bigstock-Bursting-Pipe-37564903 Frozen pipes can do more than just slow or stop your water flow. They can potentially rupture and cause catastrophic water damage. Which is why thawing frozen pipes as soon as possible is so important. In a situation where every second counts, here are a few things you can do to save yourself and your family a whole mess of trouble.

The first sign of a frozen pipe is little or no flow of water. If you experience this in your home, try the following tips before calling a CroppMetcalfe professional.

If you are experiencing little to no water flow:

  • Turn off the main water valve** but make sure to keep your faucets 'open'. Keeping your faucets open will help to release pressure buildup in your pipes, which will reduce the likelihood of a pipe rupture.
  • Turn on the 'hot water'. Hot water lines usually freeze first because there is less oxygen contained in the water. Continue to keep the faucet open. As the frozen area starts to melt, the small amount of running water will help melt the ice.
  • Open the cabinet doors under your kitchen sink. Turn up the heat in your home to slowly heat up the pipes. Heat and patience is very important when thawing frozen pipes.
  • If you are able to boil a bit of water, soak a towel in the hot water and wrap the towel around the frozen pipe.

**Please be aware, turning off the main water in your home may also turn off any fire protection system you have.

Frozen pipes in your home can be a huge pain, but there are things you can do to help prevent frozen pipes during the cold winter months. 

insulateddome

  • Set the thermostat no lower than 60 degrees whenever you leave the house.
  • Cover outdoor faucets with an insulating dome to reduce the likelihood of frozen water pipes.
  • If you are going to be away and temperatures drop to 20 or below, have a friend or neighbor check the house daily. Have them run the water to check the water pressure.

It is extremely important to stay safe while working with frozen pipes. Do NOT try to use a blowtorch, propane heater, or any open flame device to heat up your pipes. If you are unable to find the frozen area or it is not accessible, call CroppMetcalfe to come help.