What to Do When Your Pipes Freeze
What to Do When Your Home has Frozen Pipes in Summit County
You’re probably familiar with all of the standard ways to prevent frozen pipes in your home, but do you know what steps to take if your pipes actually freeze? Even with preventative measures in place, an unfortunate situation can occur. Mechanical failure of the heating system, power loss, internet loss, or even human error might result in frozen pipes in Summit County. However, there are some steps you can take to help thaw frozen pipes and prevent a major water leak… and speaking of prevention, we’ve got a great tip below that you may not have considered.
Not all frozen pipes will burst, but the longer amount of time that the pipe remains frozen, the more likely it is to burst. It’s important to help frozen pipes in Summit County thaw as quickly as possible. Waiting around for temperatures to warm up is not a good idea.
Faucets that won’t flow, a toilet that won’t refill, or visibly frozen water in a toilet bowl are all signs of frozen pipes.
Here’s what to do when your pipes freeze:
- Shut off main water supply.
- Leave faucets open.
- If possible, turn up the heat to 80.
- Place a heat source directly on the exposed plumbing. Examples are space heaters, a hair dryer, a heat lamp, heating pad or electric heat cable. Do not use an exposed flame like a blow torch. If you have a cookie sheet or other sheet of metal that will help reflect heat, place it on the opposite of a hair dryer or spacer heater to help distribute the heat around the pipe.
- Open cabinets and doors around plumbing.
- If the home has a fireplace or wood stove, light a fire to help generate heat.
- Heat water on a stove, add salt, and pour it down the drain. Do not pour boiling water down a drain as an extreme change in temperature could cause a break.
- If the pipes have been frozen for an extended time, they are in an area you cannot reach such as a wall or crawl space, or you do not have access to any of the means above, contact a professional plumber to bring in pipe-thawing equipment.
Once the pipes begin to thaw and water is flowing, keep the faucet on a slow but steady drip until the danger of re-freezing has passed. Besides an obvious water leak, other warning signs to look out for are low water pressure, damp ceilings, walls or floors; or persistent noise in the pipes when all faucets are off. These are all warnings that there is a likely a leak in a wall or other area that needs immediate repair.
Remember to be careful with electrical devices around plumbing. Do not use them in the presence of water to prevent electrical shock. Do not heat pipes to a point that they become hot to touch.
Consider installing a leak detector or sensor in areas with vulnerable pipes. A pipe that has frozen but did not burst is more likely to burst if it freezes again.
Preventive Pro Tip!
If your home is a rental for guests in Summit County, you must always assume that your guests do not know anything about frozen pipe prevention. Many from the south who have never lived in cold climates won’t know the harm of leaving a garage door open in the winter time. A prominently placed warning sign at the interior garage door is vital to remind them to keep it shut after use. Remote thermostat control is also helpful. Guests who are not accustomed to the cold have a tendency to turn the heat up too high, get hot and then crack a door or window to cool off. In the excitement of being on vacation, those cracked doors and windows might get left open. You can be alerted to this with remote temperature control and give your guests a call or send staff to the home.
In a worst-case scenario with burst pipes as the end result, Exclusive Cleaning and Restoration is here to help prevent further water damage. Our Summit County water damage team will extract the water, dry it out and complete the clean-up process. We are locally owned and operated in Summit County for more than a decade. We know the climate well, the toll it takes on homes in our community and how to mitigate it. Our goal is to provide you with peace of mind and high quality care.
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