An Import Service Alert from Tim McElroy
After every polar blast, our phones ring with requests from our Cape Cod customers to fix frozen pipes. Here are some tips to help you avoid such expensive repairs and the damage to walls and furnishings that often accompanies frozen pipes. Keep in mind, an 1/8 crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day causing serious damage to your home.
Preventing Frozen Pipes:
- Keep your home temperature 68 degrees or higher even if you plan to be away for extended periods.
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow for air circulation.
- If supply lines run through your garage walls, be sure to keep the doors shut.
- If supply lines run through cold areas, insulate them or install heat tape (available from home centers and hardware stores).
- If for any reason you lose heat, run a slow drip from faucets. The cost of wasted water will be far less than repairs to pipes, walls and furnishings should your pipes freeze.
Thawing a Frozen Pipe:
- If only a trickle comes out when you open a faucet, suspect a frozen pipe.
- Locate the frozen section. Likely places include where your water service enters your home, where pipes run along exterior walls or through non-insulated areas of your home.
- Carefully check the pipe for damage. Copper and plastic lines are particularly likely to split if frozen.
- If you have any difficulty locating the frozen area, if it is in an inaccessible area, or if you are NOT ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that there is no damage to the pipe, call your Cape Cod Master Plumbers professionals at 508-317-5525.
- If you decide to thaw the pipe, keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. This flow will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using a space heater or electric hair drier. DO NOT USE A BLOWTORCH OR ANY OPEN-FLAME METHOD.
- Keep applying heat until full water pressure is restored.
- Check the water pressure in all other faucets in your home. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.