Preventing & Thawing Frozen Water Lines

Posted By The Eco Plumbers

5 Jan. 2017

One or more frozen pipes is an unfortunate possibility in areas that get very cold during the winter months. Since water expands when it freezes, metal or plastic pipes may burst when the water inside turns to ice. Typically, pipes most susceptible to freezing are those that are exposed to extreme cold, such as pipes in unheated interior areas and uninsulated outdoor pipes. If a pipe freezes, it is important to take immediate action to avoid an expensive and messy pipe burst.

Looking for Breaks & Leaks

Locating a frozen area inside of a pipe can be tricky, especially considering that homes can contain hundreds of feet of piping. You’ll need to do some detective work in order to find the source of the problem. Turn on all of your faucets to determine which ones are not working. If the problem is limited to one room, the frozen pipe is somewhere between the split from the main line. If the problem affects every faucet on one floor, the problem will be within where the first and second floor pipes separate. If none of the faucets in your home are working, the frozen pipe is probably near where the main water pipe enters your home.

Once you have identified the general location, examine the pipes to determine the spot that is frozen. A frozen pipe will feel colder than other sections of the piping and may have a layer of white frost or condensation on it. This is where you can begin the thawing process.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

The first thing you should do is leave the faucet open in order to allow water to flow through the frozen area and begin melting the ice. Then, use a hair dryer, heating pad, or towels soaked in hot water to apply heat to the pipe (but never use anything with an open flame). Continue to apply heat until the water flow is restored. If you can’t locate the frozen area of the pipe, if the pipe isn’t accessible, or if you can’t thaw the pipe yourself, it is important to contact a qualified plumber as soon as possible.

Frozen Pipe Repair Experts in Columbus, OH

In the event that a a frozen pipe bursts during freezing or thawing, go to your main water meter and shut down the water to the whole home before calling a plumbing professional. If you suspect a frozen pipe and run into difficulties, The Eco Plumbers is available to help! Our Columbus plumbers can handle any job, large or small. Contact us today for prompt service – we’re available 24/7 to take your call.

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