If you've ever had a frozen pipe, you know just how frustrating and inconvenient it can be. Not only is your water unusable, but the frozen pipes can also damage your home or business. In this blog post, we will discuss what you should do if your pipes freeze.
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze
If your pipes have frozen, you still have options. There are several things you can do to thaw out frozen pipes and get your water flowing again, including:
- If possible, turn off the water main. Doing this and dripping any faucets connected to the frozen pipe will help relieve pressure in the pipe and reduce the chances that the pipe bursts. Also, if the pipe does burst, shutting off the water main and dripping the faucets will help lessen flooding and flood damage.
- If you have access to a hairdryer, you can try using that to thaw the pipes. Simply direct the heat from the hairdryer onto the frozen section of pipe for a few minutes. You may need to move the hairdryer around to thaw the entire section of pipe. If you don't have a hairdryer, you can try using a heat lamp or space heater. Again, simply aim the heat at the frozen section of pipe until it begins to thaw. You'll need to be careful with this method, as too much heat can damage the pipes. Also, don’t ever use anything with an open flame to attempt to thaw a frozen pipe. It is a safety risk.
- Another option is to wrap the frozen section of pipe in towels soaked in hot water. The hot water will help to thaw the pipe. You'll need to replace the towels with fresh ones as they cool off. Once the frozen section of pipe has thawed, turn on the faucet and allow the water to begin flowing again. This will help to prevent the pipe from freezing again.
If you can't access the pipe, or if the above methods don't work, you'll need to call a professional plumber. They will have the tools and experience necessary to thaw your pipes without causing further damage.
Preventing Frozen Pipes in the Future
When water freezes, it expands. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing the water, whether that’s a pipe, a bottle, or even an animal. The pressure increase can cause pipes to burst and crack, leading to costly repairs. There are a few things you can do to avoid having your pipes freeze in the first place:
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. By keeping a consistent temperature in your home, you minimize the chances of your pipes freezing.
- Insulate your pipes. You can buy special foam insulation specifically designed for pipes at most hardware stores. Just make sure to measure your pipes before you buy the insulation, so you get the right size.
- If you know cold weather is coming and there is a chance your pipes might freeze, open all your faucets slightly so that a tiny stream of water is constantly running through them. Running water is less likely to freeze than standing water.
- Open your cabinets. You should keep any cabinets where plumbing is located open during cold spells so that warm air can circulate around the pipes.
If you’re dealing with frozen pipes, Smith’s Plumbing Services is ready to help. We have been providing residential and commercial customers in Memphis and its surrounding communities with top notch plumbing services for over a decade.
For more information about Smith’s Plumbing Services, and how we’ve helped homeowners and businesses with plumbing problems in the past, read our customers’ reviews.
Frozen pipes? Give us a call at (901) 290-1110 or reach out to us online today to speak with our experienced plumbing experts in Memphis about your situation. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services and coupons.