When Pipes Burst or Freeze
With all the cold weather we’ve been having lately, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on our pipes. Here are some tips on what to do if your pipes freeze or burst.
- Don’t take chances. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
- If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve; leave the water faucets turned on.
- Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Warm the pipe close to the faucet, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
- What do you do if your pipes still freeze, despite your best preventative measures?First step: Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do:
- Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water: You could be electrocuted.
- Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house!
- You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
- If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.
IF PIPES BURST:
- Shut off the water immediately to prevent additional damage.
- Take proper precautions to avoid an electrical shock from being in or near standing water.