What to Do When a Pipe Freezes

How to Keep Water Pipes From Freezi

Blog Highlights

  • Frozen water expands and puts pressure on the pipe, which can eventually lead to a burst pipe
  • It’s not uncommon for water main breaks and water meters to freeze, too
  •  During the winter months, we advise keeping at least three days worth of water on hand

When temperatures plummet, the chances of pipes freezing in your home increases.  Pipes freeze when the cold temperature causes the water inside to freeze. It doesn’t matter if the pipe is made out of plastic or metal. Frozen water expands and puts pressure on the pipe, which can eventually lead to a burst pipe. So, when winter rolls around and temperatures drop, it’s important to consider your pipes.

Pipes that are exposed to the outdoors, like pipes that lead to pools or water sprinklers are the most susceptible to freezing. Any hose bibs or water supply lines in unheated areas are also vulnerable. In some cases, pipes under kitchen cabinets that are situated in an exterior wall can also freeze. These are the pipes you need to be extra careful with and may want to insulate further.

So, how do you know if you have a frozen pipe? Easy. If it’s cold outside and you turn on a faucet and water does not flow freely, it’s likely that you have a frozen pipe.

Here’s what you need to do if you have a frozen pipe:

  • Turn on the cold or hot water faucet nearest to the frozen pipe to relive some of the built-up pressure and reduce the chances of a burst pipe
  • Apply heat to the section of the pip that is frozen. You can use an electric heating pad or towels soaked in hot water. You may even try a hair dryer, but do not use any kind of open flame device
  • Check the other faucets in your home or office by turning them on and letting them run
  • Be prepared for a burst pipe. Know where the main water shutoff valve is so that you can easily turn off your water supply if you need to
  • If all else fails, call a professional plumber

It’s not uncommon for water main breaks and water meters to freeze, too. During the winter months, we advise keeping at least three days worth of water on hand in case something happens and you are without water.

If you suspect you have a problem with your pipes, never hesitate to contact your local, professional plumber.

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