Tips on Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Freezing cold weather is on its way to our area and that means the possibility of frozen pipes. But, there are measures you can take to prevent the pipes in your home from freezing and causing damage and expensive repairs. Below are some helpful tips to help you avoid the hassle of froze pipes.* Remove, drain and store outdoor hoses.
* Close inside valves that supply water to outdoor spigots. Keep the outdoor spigot open so any remaining water can expand without causing the pipe to break.
* Check water supply lines in unheated areas of your home such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
* Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
* Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
* Let water drip from inside faucets. Even a trickle, will help keep pipes from freezing.
* Don’t allow the temperature inside your home to dip below 55 degrees at any time, even if you are going away.
If you do experience frozen pipes, follow the tips below to help them thaw.
* If you turn on a faucet and water only trickles out, expect a frozen pipe. The likely places for a frozen pipe to occur are against exterior walls or where water service enters your home through the foundation.
* Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will continue to encourage melting.
* Apply heat to the section of frozen pipe by wrapping an electric heating pad around the frozen area. You can also use a hair dryer, a portable space heater or wrap the pipes with towels soaked in hot water.
* Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you can’t locate the frozen area or if the frozen area is unaccessible and you can’t thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.