It’s that time of year again when the temperatures drop and the risk of your pipes freezing increases. If you turn on your faucet and only a trickle of water comes out, there’s a good chance your pipes are frozen. Don’t panic! There are a few things you can do to easily unfreeze pipes.
The Best Way to Thaw Frozen Pipes
Step 1: Turn The Water Off
Turn off the water at the main valve so that when the pipes thaw, they don’t burst from the pressure.
Step 2: Turn The Faucet On
Open up the faucet all the way so that as the ice melts, the water has somewhere to go.
Step 3: Apply Heat
Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using a hair dryer, space heater, or even by wrapping a heating pad around it*. Direct heat is one of the quickest ways to defrost pipes. Just be careful not to overheat the pipe—apply heat gradually and continuously until the ice has completely melted. You can also pour warm (not boiling) water over the frozen section.
* Do not use an open flame, such as a blowtorch, to thaw your pipes! This is extremely dangerous and can damage your pipes beyond repair or quickly lead to a fire in your home!
Once you’ve applied heat for a few minutes, check and see if water is flowing. If it is, great! If not, you may need to apply more heat or try another method. Once the water is flowing again, be sure to check all other faucets in your home to make sure they’re working too and then turn your main water valve back on.
If this doesn’t work, call the professional plumbers at FitzGerald and Sons Plumbing Co. to professionally assess the situation and provide solutions on how to thaw a frozen water line.
How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing in the First Place
Of course, the best way to deal with frozen pipes is to prevent them from happening in the first place! Here are a few things you can do:
Insulate Exposed Pipes
This is especially important for piping that runs through an unheated area like an attic or crawlspace. Pipes that are exposed to cold air are more likely to freeze than those that are well-insulated. You can find pipe insulation at most hardware stores. Just make sure it’s rated for plumbing and cold-weather use.
Let Cold Water Drip
Running water is less likely to freeze than still water. So, if you’re expecting a cold snap, open the faucet on any exposed pipes and let the water drip slowly. This will help keep the water moving and prevent it from freezing solid.
Keep Your Thermostat At A Consistent Temperature
A sudden drop in temperature can cause your pipes to freeze. Keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re away from home or asleep, so that your home stays warm enough to prevent freezing. This may seem like wasted energy, but it’s well worth it to prevent frozen pipes and costly repairs!
Frozen pipes are no fun. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent them. If they do freeze despite your best efforts, don’t panic! Try the thawing methods above or call FitzGerald and Sons Plumbing Co. and we can take care of it for you. Our services are available 24/7 for all your plumbing emergencies. Our team at FitzGerald and Sons Plumbing Co. will provide you with the quality plumbing solutions you need. Call us today at 770.863.7239, use our contact form, or request a service appointment.