Frozen Pipe Prevention and Thawing

Low temperatures in the Lafayette, IN area are coming once again in this wonderful winter season. Are the pipes in your home prepared for the winter storm?


How to identify which pipes are most often frozen:

  • Are there pipes that run on the exterior of your home and are exposed to severe cold, such as outdoor hose spickets, swimming pool lines, and water sprinkler lines?
  • Where are the water pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets? If they are well insulated, then you won’t need to worry, but if they’re exposed, however, they will be subject to freezing.
  • Are there any pipes that run through exterior walls on your home? Do any of your sinks or showers sit against an outside wall? These pipes are likely to freeze.

How to prevent frozen pipes from happening:

  • Wrap water pipes in your basement or crawl spaces with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.
  • Consider an insulated blanket for your hot water heater.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you’re not using it.
  • Make sure your furniture isn’t blocking your home’s heating vents.
  • During cold spells, keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes, particularly those in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces.
  • Keep your home at a constant temperature through the night and day.

(information provided by an article by Nationwide Insurance)

How to thaw frozen pipes:

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a 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 ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • 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 can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes.

(information provided by an article by The American Red Cross)


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