How to Handle a Frozen Pipe

Frozen pipes are a relatively common problem during the winter months. They can cause great damage if you do not take the correct action to thaw them out.

Follow these steps to deal with a frozen pipe without causing a flood in your home.

1. Locate the Frozen Section

Most people realize they are dealing with a frozen pipe when they turn on a tap, and no water comes out. If this situation happens to you, open some other taps to find out how many are affected. If only one tap is not working, you can be sure that the frozen section is located in the pipe that serves that particular tap. Work your way along the pipe, feeling for particularly cold sections with your hand.

2. Check the Pipe For Cracks

Before attempting to defrost the frozen section of the pipe, check it carefully for any splits or cracks in the metal. Melting the ice inside a burst pipe will likely lead to a flood, so you should not attempt to deal with this situation yourself. Instead, if the pipe is broken, you should turn off the water and call a plumber to replace the frozen section.

3. Defrost the Pipe

If the pipe is not cracked, you can safely defrost it yourself. The easiest way to do this is to turn up the heating and wait until the ice melts. You can speed the process up by using a hairdryer to apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe. Move the hairdryer back and forth, so you do not get too much heat building up in one area. If you do not have a hairdryer, you can soak a hot towel and wrap it around the pipe.

4. Prevent Future Freezes

After dealing with the frozen pipe, it is crucial to take action to prevent the situation from arising again. Wrapping foam insulation around pipes in cold areas of your home, such as the basement, attic, or crawl spaces, can help prevent them from freezing.

It is also a good idea to leave the heating on at a low level when you spend a few days away from home in the winter. Most frozen pipes occur when residents are away, as the home cools down to an unusually low temperature when no one is staying there.

Follow these tips to deal with frozen pipes, and you could avoid causing severe water damage to your home. If you feel unsure about handling a plumbing situation, contact All A’s Plumbing & Heating in the local northern New Jersey area to help you fix your frozen pipe problem and prevent future freezes.