What To Do When a Pipe Freezes?

This is probably one of the costliest risks that can happen to your plumbing system anytime the weather forecast is predicting freezing temperatures… ruptured pipes. Plastic and metal pipes can burst when the water inside is tapped and freezes. The frozen water then expands putting pressure on the pipe causing it to expand and more than likely burst. So, what do you do when this happens? Here are a few things to try:


  1. Open the cold and/or hot water faucet that is closest to the frozen pipe. This can relieve some of the built-up pressure and reduce the chance of that pipe rupturing.
  2. Attempt to warm up the pipe. You can do this by applying heat to the section of the pipe using an electric heating pad, a hair dryer or using towels soaked in hot water. Never use a blow torch or any other open flame device to warm the pipes.
  3. Check all the other faucets in your home by letting them run for a minute or two. It is likely if you have one frozen pipe there may be others.
  4. Know where your main water shutoff valve is located. If your pipe bursts it will be critical to turn off your main water supply as soon as possible. It’s also important to call a professional plumber right away.
  5. It’s also best to call a professional plumber when the pipe that is frozen is not easily accessible .

Frozen pipes aren’t just an issue for homeowners. Water main breaks and frozen water meters occur often during the winter months too. It’s a good idea to keep three days’ worth of water on hand during the winter months.

Overall, preventing frozen pipes is the best solution, but if you find you have a frozen pipe this Winter, our experts at Lenegan Pumbing & Heating LLC are always prepared for emergencies. Our number is (60) 399-1200

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