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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Unfreeze and Prevent Frozen Pipes

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Icicles hanging from a frozen water jets, tube, yellow pipe. aged wall background. winter time concept Determine which pipe is frozen

Unfreezing Pipes

Frozen pipes are quite common during the cold winter months. A pipe freeze can cause your water to stop running. Even worse, the pipe could burst and spray frozen water all over your Carpentersville, IL, home. If you suspect that one or more of your pipes has frozen, follow the below steps.

1. Find the Pipes
First, you have to determine which pipe is frozen. Turn on all of your faucets to see which ones have water flowing through them. You can use this information to narrow your search. Utilize a thermometer to measure the temperatures of the pipes. Leaks or cracks could be evidence of a frozen pipe, as well.

2. Heat the Pipe
Use a heat gun or hair dryer to warm the frozen pipe. Do not put the heat source directly on the pipe, as this could cause the pipe to rupture.

3. Add Salt
Just as you use salt to melt your driveway, you can also utilize it in your frozen pipes. Pour a tablespoon of sodium chloride down the drain to start the thawing process.

Preventing Pipe Freeze
Once you have thawed the pipes, you should prevent them from freezing in the future. The best way to do this is to add insulation. Use rags, heat tape or sponge covers to wrap pipes in cold areas of your house. You should also limit the amount of wind and cold air that enters your home.
If freezing temperatures are heading your way, consider placing an incandescent light bulb near the pipes that are prone to freezing. Make sure there are no flammable materials nearby.
Finally, you can leave the faucets connected to the problematic pipes slightly open overnight. The water will not have time to freeze if it is running through the pipes.
Frozen pipes are not just a minor inconvenience. They can also cause massive flooding. While water damage restoration specialists can help you clean up after a pipe burst, you should try to prevent this emergency entirely.

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