During the recent cold weather, we’ve received 911 calls from residents about frozen and burst pipes.
To prevent damage to your home, and to keep our 911 lines open for emergencies, here are some tips for addressing frozen or burst pipes.
If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, it could be the result of a frozen pipe.
Locate the suspected frozen area of the water pipe. (Some of the most-likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.)
To start thawing the frozen pipe, 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 help melt more ice in the pipe.
Apply heat to the section of pipe using towels soaked in hot water wrapped around the pipe, an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, or an electric hair dryer. Do not use electrical devices if there is standing water.
Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove or other device with an open flame. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have other frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
If a water pipe breaks, immediately close the main shut-off valve to stop flooding. You can find the shut-off valve can indoors or outdoors. It’s usually in a basement, crawlspace or garage.
Call a plumber to repair or replace the damaged section of pipe as soon as possible.