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02/06/18   |   By

How Could I Handle Frozen Water Pipes During Freezing Weather?

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Preventing frozen pipesIt would not be a stretch to argue that the cold weather in recent weeks has been out of this world. Recent weather conditions caused parts of the US to become colder than parts of Mars. Freezing weather conditions create numerous problems, including frozen pipes.

You could prevent your pipes from freezing by letting your faucets drip during cold weather conditions. Shutting off outside water sources and raising your thermostat could also work. Although your utilities bill could increase, you could owe far more money if your pipes freeze and burst.

There are obvious warning signs when your pipes have frozen. Reduced pressure will keep frozen pipes from producing a steady stream of water. It is more difficult to find the specific area of the pipe that has frozen. Pipes that run along your exterior walls are more likely to freeze. You could also check the pipes that bring water service into your home. It could help to start your search in these areas. Never wait to begin thawing frozen pipes. The pipes could burst if you wait too long.

How Could I Safely Thaw Frozen Pipes?

Once you have located the frozen area, you can begin thawing the pipe. However, it is important to understand how to perform this task without putting yourself or your property at risk. You could thaw frozen pipes by following these tips:

  1. Gradually warm the pipe. You could use a warming pad or towels that have been soaked in hot water. Turn up the thermostat and open any cabinets or crawl spaces to let the heat inside your residence reach the frozen pipe. Never use any device that is plugged into an outlet to thaw a frozen pipe.
  2. Never use fuel-burning appliances to warm a frozen pipe. Do not use a blowtorch, charcoal stove or propane heater to thaw a frozen pipe. Not only will these devices warm the pipes too quickly, they could expose you and others to deadly carbon monoxide.
  3. Keep the faucet open while thawing the pipe. Water will begin running through the pipe as it begins to thaw. This will help speed up the process.
  4. Consider whether you need a plumber. You may need to call a plumber if you cannot resolve the situation on your own. Some pipes may be inaccessible. A plumber may also be necessary when you cannot find the pipes that are frozen.

There are also steps you should take if your pipes burst. Turn the water off and remove any expensive items from the floor. You should immediately document any damage to your home. Insurance companies might cover the resulting water damage.

Washington DC and the East Coast could continue to experience cold weather conditions over the next few weeks. For future updates on winter safety tips, follow the Washington DC injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC on Facebook and Twitter.

Regan Zambri Long
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Consumer Safety
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