Jeff Toole Agency

Farm Bureau Insurance

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:
    1. Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water: You could be electrocuted.
    2. 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!
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
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