Frozen PipesPosted: Updated:
Even if the pipes do freeze, you can thaw them before they burst if you act quickly. When the temperatures drops below freezing, here's how to keep your pipes from freezing:
- Keep a trickle of water running from the faucets.
- Set a heat lamp or small heater near exposed pipes.
- Wrap uninsulated pipes with heating wires, foam, or self-adhesive insulating tape.
- Keep doors ajar between heated and unheated rooms and the doors on the sink cabinet open.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
If a pipe freezes:
- Shut off the water at the main shutoff valve and open the faucet nearest to the frozen pipe so it can drain as it thaws.
- In case leaks occur, protect the area with containers and plastic drop clothes.
- Use one of the following methods to gradually warm the frozen pipe. Be sure to work from the faucet toward the frozen area.
- Propane Torch With a flame-spreading-nozzle, the torch will quickly thaw a frozen pipe. Best to protect flammable areas with a fireproof sheet and don't let the pipe get too hot to touch.
- If a torch is not available, use a hair dryer to defrost the frozen area.
- Wrap a length of pipe with a heating pad.
- Heat Lamp For pipes behind walls, floors, or ceilings, beam a heat lamp 8 or more inches from the surface.
- If no other method is available, wrap the pipe (except plastic pipes) in rags and pour boiling water over it.