There are things you can do to help prevent your pipes from freezing, but sometimes despite our best efforts, it happens. Here’s a simple guide to what to do when your pipes freeze to reduce the amount of damage.
What to Do When Your Pipes Freeze
So, your pipes are frozen. Now what? Follow these steps first to try and thaw your pipes on your own. If your pipes are still frozen, it’s time to call a professional.
Keep Your Faucet Turned On
Even if your water isn’t running due to freezing, make sure that you have your faucet in the “on” position as your pipes are thawing. This allows any running water and steam produced by the thawing ice to escape through your faucet, and as water begins to run, it will help to clear out residual bits of ice.
Use a Hair Dryer
If an exposed pipe is frozen, you can use a hair dryer to thaw the frozen part of the pipe. You can also use an electric heating pad to warm up exposed pipes. Keep in mind that if temperatures are still very low, this may just be a temporary solution and your pipes might freeze again once they cool back down.
Whatever you do, do not try using a blowtorch or any other open-flame device to thaw out your pipes. This is dangerous and likely to cause damage to your pipes.
What About Frozen Drain Pipes?
Got a frozen drain pipe? Try pouring hot water mixed with salt down your drain pipes. The hot water and salt both help to melt any ice that’s jamming things up and get things flowing again.
If you’ve tried the above steps and this doesn’t work to thaw your pipes, call a plumber. They can carefully unfreeze your pipes to prevent damage and get your plumbing running smoothly once more.