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Thawing Frozen Pipes

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 12:53pm

You know those moments, the ones where you remember something you forgot about? If one of those moments involves winterizing your pipes, then this might be the blog post for you.

First, don’t beat yourself up. You’re not the first person to be caught up in the holiday rush, living your life and realizing a bit too late that your pipes are frozen.

1) Turn ON all the faucets connected to the frozen pipe.

Why? This allows pressure to release as you begin to work on your frozen pipes. This can help avoid breakage. Pretty good reason, right?

2) Time to thaw! Do NOT use a blow torch or any type of open flame. We repeat, do NOT use an open flame! While it might be fun to picture yourself with a welding mask on rocking out with an open flame you could destroy your pipes this way. Plastic pipes can melt and copper pipes can burst if they are heated too quickly. Regardless of the type of pipe, you could create boiling water that might just explode. Imagine the repair bills.

What CAN you use? A blow dryer, a heating lamp, a space heater, or even an iron. As long as there’s no open flame and the thaw is nice and slow, you should be okay. If you don’t have any of the above, you can wrap your pipe in a towel and then pour very hot water over it. This will probably be messy, but it will get the job done. Hopefully you have a bucket or storage bin you can pop underneath to catch the runoff water. Remember the towel though, because hot water on the pipes could still heat things up a bit too fast.

3) Ask for help! Sometimes a frozen pipe is something you can do yourself, while other times you should really call in an expert. When water turns to ice it expands, and sometimes that can cause your pipes to burst. If you’ve removed the blockage (frozen water within the pipes) and you notice your pipes are cracked or damaged you should probably contact your local plumbing expert. Thankfully for you, Mr. Rooter works 24/7 and doesn’t charge overtime!

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