Safe Thawing Tips for Frozen Pipes

 In Plumbing Emergencies, Seasonal

It’s easy to forget about your home’s plumbing when everything is working right. We often take it for granted that water will be there when we need it and drain away when we don’t. It isn’t until it something goes wrong, the toilet clogs, you hear dripping water, or you turn the faucet and nothing happens, that we give it much thought. And it that moment it can be easy to panic and want a quick fix. But sometimes that can lead to more problems.

What to do if Your Pipes Freeze

With winter fast approaching, homeowners in Minnesota and other cold climates are at risk for frozen water pipes. Frozen pipes can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time and if your pipes aren’t thawed properly, you can end up with even more damage. So, before you attempt any DIY pipe thawing, here’s what you should do if your pipes happen to freeze.

1. Turn Off Your Water

Once you realize you have a frozen pipe, you will want to turn off your home’s main water supply. Shutting off the water at the main shut-off value will reduce the pressure on your pipes and minimize flooding if they burst.

2. Open the Faucet

You will also want to open a nearby faucet to allow the pipe to drain as it thaws. Allowing a small trickle of water to run out of the pipe is also a good way to help prevent it from freezing and bursting. If the water is moving, it is less likely to freeze and burst.

3. Assess the Situation

Do your best to stay calm and assess the situation. After you’ve turned off your main water supply and opened any nearby faucets, identify exactly which pipe or pipes are frozen. If the problem pipe is not exposed or easily accessible, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. There are way too many variables, especially if you can’t directly access the pipe yourself to attempt any sort of DIY pipe thawing.

If, however, you can easily identify and access the frozen pipe, are not in an emergency situation and feel confident in your plumbing abilities, there are a few methods you can research to determine if they may be a safe option for you. But be extremely cautious. If misused or the wrong part of the pipe is thawed, any method can result in more damage to your home.  And never, ever attempt to thaw a frozen pipe with a torch, propane heater, charcoal stove, or any other open-flame devices.

4. Call A Local Plumber

Honestly, we hate to burst your DIY bubble, but frozen pipes are always best left to the experts. No one has a better understanding of how to safely thaw a pipe than a professional plumber. We use a proven and safe method to thaw frozen pipes quickly without causing more damage called steam cleaning. This process safely melts the frozen pipe, gently heating it up to get the water flowing again and relieving the built-up pressure quickly. Unlike other pipe unfreezing methods, using steam to thaw them is considered safe for nearly any pipe. If you find yourself with a frozen pipe, Call the pipe thawing experts at One Hour Rooter today at 612-354-8984 or schedule an appointment online.

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