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Frozen icicles hanging from a copper pipe.

What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

How To Respond to Frozen Pipes

Few plumbing issues are more frustrating than frozen pipes. When the temperature dips in winter, the water inside of pipes can freeze, expand, and pressurize. This will prevent water from flowing smoothly and potentially cause your pipes to burst – flooding your property. It is essential to act fast when your pipes freeze to avoid an emergency scenario. Hopefully, the following proactive measures will help you keep your pipes from bursting.

Tips on Unfreezing Pipes Quickly

If your pipes are frozen, you need to act fast. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of frozen pipes until it’s too late. One way to check on your piping system is to turn on a faucet. If the water pressure is significantly lower than usual, you are likely dealing with a blockage due to frozen water. Try not to panic: If the pipes have not burst yet, you still have time to make a difference by thawing the frozen water.

Here are some critical steps you can take to alleviate mounting pipe pressure and avoid wintertime plumbing emergencies:

  • Let the Faucet Run – By turning on the faucet and allowing it to drip, you can dramatically decrease the accumulating pressure inside the pipe. Even the slightest trickle can prevent pipes from bursting by relieving built-up tension.
  • Apply Heat – Find a hair dryer or portable space heater and aim it directly at your pipes. We suggest pointing the warm air toward the coldest sections first. Do not leave either of these appliances running if water is nearby. This can pose a significant fire hazard. You can also insulate the pipes by wrapping them in thermostatic tape. Whatever you do, avoid using open fire or a propane torch – these methods can create an emergency on their own.
  • Continue Running the Faucet – After you’ve regained normal water pressure, you can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. However, nothing is stopping your pipes from freezing again. That is why we recommend letting the faucet run at a light trickle – even after the pipes thaw. You will also help flush all the ice from the piping by keeping your faucet running.
  • Check Every Faucet – If you have one frozen pipe, the chances are high you might have another. We recommend running every faucet to ensure your water is running smoothly. We also recommend that you keep your heater/boiler running and let your faucet drip (very lightly) if you’re away from your property for an extended period during cold weather. Before going on vacation, it might be wise to turn off the water altogether.

The process of thawing frozen pipes will vary in length depending on the temperature, the amount of ice buildup, and the location/size/material of your piping. In most cases, you should be able to see noticeable results within a half-hour.

The Benefits of Hiring Professional Plumbers

Unfortunately, many homeowners learn that their pipes have frozen too late. If a pipe bursts on your property, shut off your water immediately. If flooded water is near electrical outlets, shut off power to those areas. Failure to do so will increase fire risks.

Once you’ve completed these two critical steps, give Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Pomona Valley a call right away! The faster you reach out, the greater our chances are of mitigating damage. Our technicians are eager and ready to come to the rescue. We utilize best-in-class tools and techniques to remove flooded water, minimize the moisture in your walls, and repair broken piping.

After the water damage has been treated and the piped repaired, our team can also provide proactive plumbing services to help you avoid frozen pipes in the future. Whether you prefer to reroute your pipes to warm sections or add rubber foam insulation, we can make it happen. Our plumbing specialists can even install a heating capable. We are ready to do everything in our power to ensure your pipes never freeze again.

Give us a call at (909) 303-6251 or contact us online anytime to schedule an appointment!