When the weather outside is frightful, you’ve got to look after your pipes.
Winter is tough on us and our homes. The freezing temperatures, snow, and ice all take a toll on everything from your roof to your windows, your foundation to your pipes.
If you don’t know what to do if your pipes freeze, then you could be in big trouble. In this post, we’re going to give you a basic guide for dealing with freezing pipes so that you can avoid the massive costs that could come with fixing them.
How To Tell If Your Pipes Are Frozen
Let us first say that prevention is the best method for dealing with frozen pipes. If you understand the science behind why pipes freeze and how you can stop it, you can prevent this emergency maintenance.
There are a couple of different ways to figure out if your pipes are frozen, the first being that they’re visibly covered in a layer of frost or bulging in one spot. It’s not always that easy to tell, however.
If you’re experiencing bad flow in your pipes – your toilet won’t flush properly or your faucet runs slowly – and it’s freezing outside, then this could be your pipes as well. It’s important to act quickly when you locate a frozen pipe, but thawing it out the correct way is equally important.
What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze
The first thing you should do is assess how bad the situation is. If you’ve got a badly bulging pipe that looks like it’s about to burst, it’s something you should call a professional to deal with it. When your faucets are finicky but there’s no visible frost, then you should go through the following steps to thaw the pipes.
Open the Faucets
Firstly, open the faucet that the pipe goes to so that you can relieve the pressure that’s been building. Turn both hot and cold water on and the melting ice will have a place to escape to.
When you start the thawing process, do it near the faucet. If you start thawing where the problem spot is, you could actually create more pressure and put your pipes in further danger. Take your time and start by the faucet, working your way down to the frozen part of the pipe.
Thawing Exposed Pipes
To thaw exposed pipes, use either an electric heater or a hair dryer to direct heat at the pipe. Failing that, you can also use towels soaked (and wrung out) in hot water. If you have some combination of all of these methods, that’s even more helpful.
Thawing Non-Exposed Pipes
When you can’t see the pipe, you’re forced to just try turning up the heat in your property. This may work, but if you’re unable to locate the source of the problem with your pipes, you should really be calling a plumber to help you deal with it.
Professionals Are Always the Best Method
These are helpful DIY tips for what to do if your pipes freeze, but if you think it might be serious, you need a plumber to investigate. At Alco Air, we’ve got over 30 years of heating, cooling, and plumbing experience under our belts. No matter what problem you’ve got, we’ll be able to help.
If you’ve got a frozen pipe and you’re not comfortable trying these at-home methods for thawing it out, don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and we can diagnose and treat the problem quickly and affordably.