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What to do when your pipes freeze

What to Do When Your Pipes Freeze

Winter is the time for bundling up in your coziest sweater, sipping cocoa on a chilly evening, and building a snowman after the first big snowstorm. But the winter season also presents unique challenges, including for your home’s plumbing. Pipes like outdoor hoses, sprinkler lines, pool lines, and exposed indoor pipes are especially vulnerable to freezing temperatures and extreme climates. In minor instances, water flow may be restricted through these pipes if they’re frozen. If the water has frozen, expanded, and broken the pipe, then you may find yourself with an unexpected eruption of water.

Knowing the telltale signs of frozen pipes and what to do when the plumbing freezes over the course of the winter season can save you time, money and headaches.

How to Tell If Pipes Are Frozen 

Look for these clues that indicate your plumbing is likely frozen:

  • No flowing water: The first and biggest indicator that the pipes have frozen is if water will not run from the faucets.
  • Extremely cold temperatures: Exposed pipes that were not winterized before the season are likely to freeze if the outdoor temperature dips below 32 degrees. The lower the temperature and longer the freeze lasts, the more likely it is that the pipes will freeze.
  • Frost on the pipe: When you notice frost lining the exterior of the pipe, this is an obvious and severe sign that the pipe is frozen and needs to be thawed immediately.

 What to Do When Pipes Freeze

To reduce damage to your plumbing and the rest of your home, take immediate action once you have realized your home’s pipes are frozen. You can do this by:

  • Shutting off the main water line: To prevent gallons of water from spilling from the pipe, whether it has already burst or not, locate your main water valve and shut it off.
  • Open the faucet supplied by the frozen pipe: By opening the faucet, you will reduce pressure in the pipe and give the thawed ice an appropriate place to flow.
  • Apply heat to the pipe: Thaw exposed pipes by using a blow dryer, heat lamp or portable space heater, slowly applying heat to the area to avoid causing a break. Never use an open flame from a blowtorch, charcoal stove, propane heater, or kerosene to thaw a frozen pipe. For frozen pipes behind walls, increase the indoor heat using the thermostat, remove a section of the wall, or use an infrared heat lamp to heat the pipe through the wall.
  • Inspect the area: Once you have found one frozen pipe, test all of the other faucets in your home for signs of freezing. If you notice any other signs of frozen plumbing, thaw them as soon as possible.

Emergency Winter Plumbing Repairs From Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Oneida

Avoid frozen pipes and water damage with plumbing repair and maintenance from the skilled and licensed plumbing professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Oneida. Our plumbing technicians respond quickly to all repair calls and understand the best methods and tools to tackle issues related to frozen and burst plumbing.

Contact us today for 24-hour emergency plumbing services with no overtime charges, or call 315-363-1565 for a free service quote.