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Your Pipes are Frozen. Now What?

Follow these tips to thaw out frozen pipes this winter.

Image courtesy of drkfiber/Flickr.
Image courtesy of drkfiber/Flickr.

No one likes to deal with frozen pipes, and despite doing things like using pipe insulation and draining water from systems before the cold weather sets in, sometimes frozen pipes happen anyway. So what do you do if your pipes freeze? Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to get your system working again and avoid costly damage.

Identify Frozen Pipes

When your water pressure decreases significantly and it is extremely cold outside, you may have a frozen pipe. Start by examining pipes that are exposed to cold air and look for pipes with ice or frost on them. If you find a pipe that is bulging or broken, contact a plumber right away. If you think the frozen section is behind a wall, open faucets and turn up your home’s heat. If your pipes don’t thaw out, call a plumber who provides frozen pipe repairs on Long Island.

Open Faucets

Before you start thawing out frozen pipes, open faucets so that the water has somewhere to go and so that it will flow out of your piping system as it melts. For example, if your kitchen sink lacks water pressure and you have identified a frozen pipe leading to it, leave the faucet open while you work to defrost the pipe. 

Use a Blow Dryer to Slowly Thaw Pipes

One of the best ways to thaw out a frozen pipe is to use a blow dryer to heat the pipe until the ice inside melts. You can also wrap an electric heating pad around the pipe or set up a space heater near a large section of frozen pipes. When water begins flowing out of the faucets at a normal pressure, the pipes have been defrosted and you can stop applying heat to the area.

Finding Leaks and Burst Pipes

As you thaw out frozen pipes, you may notice a break or the pipe may begin leaking. In these situations, call a plumber right away. This means the frozen water has expanded, causing damage that needs to be repaired before you can use your plumbing system again. If your pipes freeze and then burst before you are able to defrost them, use your water shut off valve to turn the water off and then call a plumber.

You can find more information about how to deal with frozen pipes on the Pat Dolan Plumbing website. If you find frozen pipes this winter, try using these tips to thaw them out. If you aren’t able to regain water pressure, find a broken or bulging pipe, or if the frozen section is behind a wall, contact us. We are a professional plumber that specializes in frozen pipe repairs on Long Island.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Margaret Nikiel January 04, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Help. My radiant heat froze blow drier isnt working.. Does anybody have Idea's they would like to share thank u

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