Frozen Pipes? Find Out What to Do

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In the midst of the “Polar Vortex” in January I received a phone call from my parents.  They were calling to tell me that the pipes in their home had frozen.  They were naturally very worried about this.  Frozen pipes have been quite a hot topic this winter (no pun intended) as many have worked to avoid them during these freezing cold temperatures.  The reason that there has been so much emphasis on prevention is because if pipes freeze then burst there can be huge amounts of damage to your home.  The problem is that with the temperatures being so low, even traditional prevention tips such as not lowering your thermostat, have not always been enough to stop pipes from freezing.  Therefore, what should you do, if like my parents, you wake up to find that your pipes are stopped and frozen?

Thankfully, just because a pipe is frozen does not necessarily mean that it is going to burst.  In order to prevent that from happening, here are some suggestions:

  • Turn on the faucets to open them up and allow the water to expand and lessen some of the pressure.
  • Open the cabinet doors around the pipes. This will allow some warmer air to come in and surround the pipes.
  • If you can access the frozen area of the pipe, use a hair dryer on it.
  • Most importantly, call a professional plumber with an electric melting tool
  • You should NOT attempt to use an open flame on the pipe by yourself, and if the pipe does burst or seems very much in danger of it, turn off your main water valve.

Stay Warm and Dry!