We’ve told you how to prevent your pipes from freezing, but sometimes the worst can happen. Like, your furnace failing while you are out of town or just forgetting to turn on your tap when the weather hits sub-zero.
When disaster does set in, all the preparation in the world doesn’t count for a hill of beans when your pipes actually freeze. Now what?
Frozen pipes are a serious and potentially catastrophic problem. There’s no putting it off, this issue needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Frozen pipes expand, which can lead to cracks and bursts in your plumbing. This, of course, can cost you a pretty penny in plumbing repairs, not to mention any flood repair and clean up.
If you do find yourself in a situation with frozen pipes in your home, here’s what to do.
Call Your Plumber
The very, very first thing you should do is pick up the phone and call a plumber. Frozen pipes are serious business and should be left in the hands of a professional plumber that you trust. No matter how skilled of a DIYer you are, nothing can substitute the touch of a trained professional.
The real issue with frozen pipes happens during the thawing process. Frozen water could be plugging up backed up water in your pipes. When your pipes are thawed, flooding commonly occurs because of the cracks that occur during pipe expansion or just from a result of a rush of backed up water.
A professional plumber can not only more properly assess the situation, but they have much more sophisticated tools and techniques that will efficiently and more safely thaw your pipes in a way that will minimize any resulting issues.
Shut Off Your Water
While you should leave the heavy lifting and hard work to a professional plumber, there are a few things you can do to help out before they arrive. One helpful place to start is shutting off water to the area of your home experiencing frozen pipes.
As mentioned, the frozen water in your pipes may be causing a major back up. When your pipes are thawed, you could experience a large rush of water that can attribute to flooding. By shutting off your water, you can help limit the flow and minimize any resulting water damage.
While your plumber may have a special tool or technique to thaw out your pipes, you can help get started. Turn on your tap and open up your cupboards to expose the pipes. This will help relieve some of the pressure build-up occurring in your pipes. This should be the extent to which you attempt to “thaw” your pipes without the presence of a professional plumber. In many instances, using space heaters or hair dryers to try and thaw the pipes yourself can only make the situation worse.
Also, under no circumstances should you expose your pipes to direct and extreme heat, such as a propane torch. This may seem like a silly warning, but you may be surprised to hear the lengths folks go to thaw their pipes out! This kind of high heat may only serve to make matters worse by damaging your pipes in the process.
No one wants frozen pipes, but if it happens, you need the help of a speedy and reliable plumber. Call Mishler Plumbing!