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Frozen water pipes are a very common plumbing problem that can cause extensive damage and expensive repairs. Fortunately, frozen pipe repair can be done safely and efficiently.
First locate the section of pipe that is suspected to be frozen. Look for exposed pipes along exterior walls or where piping runs through areas that are not insulated.
Call a Professional
If you have a frozen water pipe in your home, it is best to call a professional for assistance. Plumbers will thaw your pipes and look for any damage caused by the freeze that might require repair work.
A frozen water pipe can be dangerous and may burst. This can cause thousands of gallons of water to flow into your house and can be costly to repair.
Usually, the first sign that you have a frozen pipe is that there is no water to the spigots and toilets. If you can see the pipes, you might be able to determine where they are located by examining them for frost.
Frozen pipes are common in areas where they are not properly insulated, such as attics and basements. They also can be found on exterior walls, where they are exposed to cold air entering through cracks or openings.
Identify the Source of the Leak
A leaking or broken pipe caused by frozen water can be expensive and messy to fix. To minimize the damage, it’s important to find the source of the leak before it becomes a major problem.
The first sign of a pipe blockage is when you turn on the faucet in very cold weather and don’t get much water out. This could be because the pipe is frozen somewhere between the faucet and where the water line enters the home.
To thaw the blockage, use a heating pad or hair dryer. Don’t use a torch or other high-temperature heat tool, as it can damage the pipe.
Using a heater will also help to ease the pressure within the pipes, which may prevent a burst. However, if you try to thaw the pipe and it does burst, it will likely flood your house and cause costly damage.
Unfreeze the Pipes
When the temperature drops, water expands as it freezes, and this causes pressure to build up inside your home’s pipes. This can result in a pipe bursting and a major mess.
One of the best ways to avoid a frozen pipe is to wrap insulation around your home’s pipes. This helps prevent them from freezing, and if you have PEX or other types of pipe, it can also make the material more resistant to bursting or splitting when the weather gets cold.
The other way to thaw a frozen pipe is to use a hair dryer or space heater. Keep the appliance a few inches away from the frozen part of the pipe and wait for it to thaw.
You can also try a heating tape to help warm up the pipe. However, this may not work for all pipes, so you should call a professional to do the job. Regardless of the method, thawing your pipes is essential to avoid extensive damage.
Repair the Leak
During winter storms, pipes can become frozen and cause significant damage to your home. This is particularly true for those located in exterior walls or unheated areas of your house.
Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes from causing problems. Following these tips will help you avoid the headache of a water leak and costly repairs.
First, locate the frozen pipe. You can use a hair dryer, heat gun or space heater to melt the ice blockage.
You can also wrap hot towels, which have been soaked in hot water, around the frozen section of the pipe.
Using an electric heating pad, hair dryer or portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials) can be effective. However, be careful not to place the devices too close to the ice because they could get too warm and melt.