When temperatures become frigid, residential plumbing pipes are at a higher risk of freezing. To avoid freezing pipes in your home, it's best to keep your house well heated and to leave faucets slightly dripping while you're away from the house. Even upon taking the proper precautions, however, there's still a chance that your home's pipes could freeze. Should this occur, it's vital that you know the proper steps to take.
DO Shut Off Your Water
To reduce the chances of a pipe bursting and causing even more damage, the first thing you should do upon realizing that one of your plumbing pipes is frozen is to shut off your home's water supply completely. Some homeowners make the disastrous mistake of trying to run hot water through the pipes to thaw the frozen water, but this often causes more harm than anything else. Not to mention, if a pipe bursts while scalding hot water is running through it, this could pose a safety danger to people in the home.
DO Contact a Plumber Right Away
As soon as the water supply at your house is shut off, it's time to contact a plumber to further address the situation. Don't make the mistake of assuming that just because your pipes freeze after regular business hours, you'll have to wait until morning to have the situation addressed. More than likely, there's an emergency plumber in your area, such as Biard & Crockett Plumbing, who will be able to take your call and come out for frozen pipe repair any time—day or night. You should expect to pay a little more for such a service, but you'll still likely save money when compared to waiting overnight and allowing the damage to get worse.
DON'T Use a Torch on Frozen Pipes
Finally, while there are measures you can take to start the thawing process of your pipes before professional help arrives, using a torch or any other flame-based device can be downright dangerous. That's because, among your home's pipes, there could be flammable gas lines as well. By using a torch to thaw your pipes out, you run the risk of causing a fire or explosion at your home. Instead, if you want to begin the thawing process before help arrives, your best bet is to use a hair dryer.
As you can see, there's a lot you need to know about dealing with frozen pipes on your property. Be sure to keep these tips in mind for the best results.