How To Thaw Frozen Water Pipes

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Frozen Water PipesHow To Thaw Frozen Water Pipes

When the outside temperatures drop below freezzing of course the risk of frozen water pipes incrreases. If you suspect that you may have frozen water pipes there are a few things you can easily do to help you determine if frozen pipes is the source of your water flow problem. There are also some simple prevention measures you can take that will significantly reduce the risk of future freezing problems. Most of these prevention methods are both effective and affordable.

First we need to determine if your pipes are in fact frozen. Turn on the faucet and check the water flow. If you are only getting a trickl, or nothing at all, there is a good chance that you are dealing with frozen pipes. Next, you will want to visually examinine and even feel the pipes leading up to the faucet see if there is anything obvious or if they feel very cold. If you don’t see any visual evidence such as bulging or bursts the pipes may still be partially or fully frozen. If you are still unable to determine if the water pipes are frozen then you will need to physically examin the pipes below the house or in the walls¬† where they lead to the outside or underground. If there is outside exposure of your water pipes this will be the most likely freezing point.

Thawing Your Water Pipes

If you have determined that your pipes are indeed frozen there are a few simple things you can do. Placing a fan eater safely in the area of the pipes can be effective in gently warming the pipes. If the freeze is not to severe, sometimes you can use a hair dryer for short periods of time safely. Never under any circumstances use an open flame of any type to thaw pipes.

If the water pipes have completely burst then you will be best served by calling a professional plumber. However, while you are waiting for the plumber to arrive you can clean up any water that has escaped and melted from the frozen pipe. Sometimes the water loss from the break is large enough that you will want to place multiple fans in the effected area to begin drying. You will want to dry this area out as soon as possible to avoid the possiblility of mold and mildew problems that can pose health risks. Structural damage is also a very real concern if the water saturates walls, floors, or cielings and is not dried quickly and properly.

Prevention of Frozen Water Pipes

There are several effective methods to greatly minimize the risk of frozen water pipes. If it is a new installation of water pipes you can start by burying the pipes leading to the house well under the maximum frost levels for a given geographical area. However, most people are interested in what they can do right now to help prevent frozen pipes in existing installations.

Lets talk about two very effective and affordable ways to protect your pipes from freezin. First method is to purchase some pipe insulation from your local plumbing supply or home improvement store. It is available in multiple sizes and is easy to install. Many styles of this insullation has a slit along its length and you can just slide it on for a nice snug fit.

The second method which works great is to use heat tape made for use on water pipes. This is especially effective in areas of high risk of freezing. Instllation of the heat tape is also easy but access to an electrical outlet is required. To install the heat tape you will simply wrap the tape along the area of pipe that you want prtotedcted.

Sometimes accessability to the pipes can be the biggest challenge if the pipes are located under the hous or in outside walls. A professionalplumber can be a great asset for these jobs and also provide peace of mind knowing the job is done right. This can cost far less than many people might imagine and most plumbers will give you a free estimate ass well as guarantee their work. So, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and ask your questions and always remember, safety first.



















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