Frozen Pipes? Now What?
Do you know how to prevent frozen pipes?
The weather has been mild in central Arkansas this year, but winter is not over yet, and it might be a good idea to know how to keep your pipes from freezing. SERVPRO of Conway & Faulkner Counties would like to offer you a few tips on how to keep this from happening in your home or business.
Open cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on the outside wall.
Let the cold water drip from the faucet. Running water through the pipe helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the mainline enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps. (Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber.)
Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.
Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.