How to Fix a Frozen Pipe

You’ve already performed a thorough inspection of your house and have taken the steps to prep for a harsh winter. Hopefully you’ve turned off all water lines that lead to the exterior of your home and have insulated any pipes that are exposed to the elements. If you haven’t, do not wait any longer! Frozen pipes are a messy and very expensive problem and if one happens to freeze in your home, here’s what you can do to solve the problem:

Water expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it and no matter how strong the container is, expanding water can rupture it.

How can you tell if a pipe is frozen? Turn on the faucet and if only a trickle comes out, there’s a good chance the pipe is frozen. Frozen pipes often occur against exterior walls, or where service water enters or exits your home. What can you do if you find a frozen pipe? Thaw it out.

There are several ways to thaw a frozen pipe:

  • Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen by using an electric heating pad.

  • Use a hair dryer and gently move the blower back and forth over the frozen section of the pipe.

  • Soak towels in hot water and wrap them around the pipe.

  • NEVER use a blowtorch, kerosene, propane heater or any other open flame device. This can severely damage your pipes and cause them to break.

How can you prevent the same pipes from freezing in the future? Consider relocating any exposed pipes. Have one of our professional plumbers perform this service. This is not a do-it-yourself job. Additionally, you can add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces that are subjected to freezing temperatures. For more information, give Uptown a call. We’re glad to speak with you about any plumbing, heating or electrical problems you may be experiencing.

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