request info email to friend
The Season for Frozen Pipes
Frozen water pipes can be messy, inconvenient -- and expensive. As the low temperatures settle in, give a little extra attention to your pipes. The American Red Cross offers the following suggestions for preventing or dealing with frozen pipes:
Open the doors to your kitchen and bathroom cabinets to let warmer air circulate around the plumbing. (Be sure to move dangerous cleaners and chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.)
When it is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from faucets served by exposed pipes. This can help keep pipes from freezing because the water trickling through is above freezing.
Don't turn your thermostat down at night during extremely cold weather. If you are going away, don't turn your thermostat down below 55 degrees.
If during very cold weather you turn on the faucet and get only a trickle of water, you may have a frozen pipe. Find the area where the pipe is frozen. Try pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation. Keep the faucet open, so that water can flow through as you treat the pipe.
Use an electric heating pad, a hair dryer or a portable space heater to heat the frozen section of pipe. You also can wrap the pipe with towels soaked in hot water. Don't use a blowtorch; in addition to the risk of fire, a blowtorch can make the water inside the pipe boil, which could cause the pipe to explode.
If you cannot find the frozen pipe, or cannot thaw it, call a licensed plumber.