Having your pipes freeze up is no fun at all. When you turn on your faucet and no water comes out—let alone hot water for your morning shower—then you might be in for a tough few days or even some burst pipes. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to getting your pipes to unfreeze.
- Use a hair dryer to help thaw the pipes.
- Rubbing the pipes with warm, damp rags may slowly thaw the pipes.
- Use a heat gun, but be careful in case there are any flammable items around.
- If your home has a drop ceiling, you can open ceiling tiles over the pipes to access and warm them.
- Keep your valves in working condition to prevent freezing.
- Insulate your pipes to prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Don’t keep the water flowing.
- No torches to thaw the pipes. This can cause them to burst.
- If the pipe bursts, don’t let it thaw before you repair the pipe.
- Do not put anti-freeze in the pipelines unless specifically directed.
In the case of a pipe break, shut off your water immediately via your home’s shutoff valves. There are two main valves that you should be aware of. The curb stop is generally located near the property line, which is normally surrounded by a cylinder with a cap on it called the curb box. The other major valve is located next to the water heater inside the home. There are other valves near plumbing appliances like sinks and toilets, as well. If your valves do not work, call your local Public Works Department and have someone come out and shut off your water to prevent a broken pipe.