Dealing with Frozen Pipes? Here’s What To Do! (And What Not to Do)

Dealing with frozen pipes is something no homeowner ever wants to do. Unfortunately, it’s a possible reality when the temperature drops below freezing. While there are several things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing – like leaving faucets drip and installing foam pipe insulation – sometimes, even the best efforts fail.

If you have frozen pipes in your home, don’t panic! Here’s what to do when you have a frozen pipe.

What to Do When You Have a Frozen Pipe

what to do when you have a frozen pipe
Do you know what to do when you have a frozen pipe?

Because a frozen pipe can burst and cause significant damage, we recommend contacting a professional plumber when you’re dealing with frozen pipes. If, however, you’d rather take a DIY approach, here are a few things you should – and shouldn’t – do.

  • Leave the faucet open. As the frozen area in the pipe begins to melt and water starts flowing, it will help melt the ice in the line.
  • Apply heat where the pipe is frozen. Wrap an electric heating pad or towels soaked in hot water around the pipe. You can also use an electric hair dryer or heat gun. Do NOT use a blowtorch or any type of device that uses an open flame.
  • Warm the area using a space heater. If the frozen pipe is in an unheated area such as your basement, crawlspace or attic, set up an electrical portable space heater to warm the area. Never leave the heater unattended, and make sure it’s set up away from flammable materials.
  • Apply heat until water is fully restored. When thawing your pipes, don’t stop applying heat until your full water pressure has been restored.
  • Know when you call for help. If the frozen pipe is visibly bulging, turn off your water and call a licensed plumber immediately. It’s also crucial to call in an expert if you’ve been trying to thaw your pipes yourself and not had any success. The longer your pipes are frozen, the greater the chance of them bursting.

Frozen Pipe in Hagerstown

If you’re dealing with a frozen pipe in Hagerstown, don’t risk a disastrous rupture. Contact the licensed plumbers at Larry & Sons for the plumbing repair help you need. Call 301-733-5428.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

The winter months can be brutal on your home. While snowball fights and the occasional day off of work provide bright spots in a dull and dreary winter, problems like frozen pipes can cause substantial damage and lead to thousands of dollars in repairs.

No one wants to deal with a burst pipe in the dead of winter, and preventing this nightmare is way more affordable than repairing the damage after a pipe bursts.

How to Prevent Pipes from FreezingHow to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Being cut off from your water supply immediately disrupts your daily routine. From drinking and cooking to showering, laundry and much more, we need water for nearly everything. When your pipes are frozen, you immediately lose access to water. If your frozen pipes burst, you’ll find yourself dealing with considerable water damage and a plumbing emergency that could cost you thousands.

Here’s what you need to do to prevent frozen pipes:

Before Temperatures Drop Below Freezing

  • Insulate your water pipes. Foam insulation tubes are extremely affordable, and they’re available at any hardware store. It’s especially important to insulate pipes in unheated parts of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces and garages.
  • Heat tapes and cables work as alternatives to insulation. Make sure that product you choose has earned the UL seal of approval, and follow the instructions carefully when installing it to prevent fires.
  • Check for areas where cold air could be entering your home, especially in places like kitchens and bathrooms. If you find any holes or gaps, fill them using loose insulation, caulk or expanding spray foam.

During Cold Weather

  • When outside temperatures are below freezing, keep your home warmer than 55 degrees, even if you aren’t home.
  • Open cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom, especially under the sinks. This allows the warm air in your home to circulate around your pipes.
  • Run a little water through your lines. Even a trickle is often enough to prevent ice crystals from forming.

What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

Frozen pipes are a plumbing emergency. It’s important to get them thawed out right away to prevent them from bursting. Never use a flame to thaw pipes! If you are dealing with frozen pipes in the Hagerstown area, your best bet is to call a professional. For expert plumbing repair in Hagerstown, call Larry & Sons at 301-733-5428.