Frozen Pipes Questions and Answers
How can I prevent pipes from freezing and bursting when extreme cold weather is forecasted?
1. During frigid days, keep heat at 70°
2. If you have had previous problems with freezing, leave a faucet trickling warm water. Moving water generally will not freeze.
3. Before leaving your home in the morning, test all faucets to ensure they are working properly. If the pipes are frozen, quickly heat the area to prevent broken pipes. (see next question for tips on how to thaw pipes out) If the pipe conditions do not improve, call us immediately.
4. Check underneath all kitchen and bathroom cabinets that are located on outside walls. Pipes that are located in these areas could freeze. Leave cabinet doors open to allow heat in.
5. Insulate pipes that are located on outside walls.
6. Check your home for drafts.
7. Try to heat under crawl spaces.
8. Check your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly and located near the furnace area during this time that your furnace is operating more frequently.
9. Call us to install Glycol Antifreeze in your heating system. This will aid in keeping your pipes from freezing.
10. If you own vacant property, be sure the heat is set at 68°.
Before calling a professional, be sure to try the reset switch located on the bottom of most disposals.
What is the best way to thaw out a frozen pipe in my home? What should I do to stop the flooding in case it bursts?
1. Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water.
2. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove or other open flame device.
3. Do not let a heating pad, hair dryer, or other electrical device come into contact with water.
4. Do not leave any heat source unattended at any time.
5. Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt more ice in the pipe.
6. If your house or basement is flooding, turn off the water valve. For tips on how to locate your shutoff valve, refer to question one on this page.
7. DO NOT TRY TO THAW A BURST PIPE THAT HAS RESULTED IN FLOODING! THIS COULD CAUSE ELECTROCUTION!
8. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call us immediately.
9. Be sure to check all of the other pipes in your home to be sure further freezing has not occurred.
Winters are brutally cold where we live, so we were told to turn off the outside faucets in the fall before the freezing weather arrives. Even though we did this, the pipes leading to our outside faucet still froze and broke. What did we do wrong?
Turning off the water is not enough. You must also disconnect the garden hose connected to the faucet to allow the water in the pipe to drain out. This will allow the piping to withstand the cold weather.