The first full day of winter, and Man it’s cold. Three days ago it was 75 degrees and this morning it’s 5. If you’re in Minnesota I know that you’re thinking stop whining already hey, but you must admit that is an extreme change over one weekend. It catches people by surprise – “Surprise! it’s December 22, and it’s Cold!” – It probably shouldn’t but it does.
It’s a big money day for plumbers. Anyway…
How to Thaw your Frozen Pipes – Click on the link for more information on what to do when the water doesn’t flow, and how to keep your pipes from freezing if they haven’t already.
Winter Time Home Maintenance – Maintenance is the key to avoiding expensive repairs, and keeping your home values high – And there are some things that are best done in the Winter time.
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Locate the main water cut off for the house and procure any tools that you may need to quickly turn the water off, in case you have leaks when it thaws out. But unless you suspect that you have burst pipes, don’t turn off the water yet. If possible draft an assistant for the extremely dull job of being handy to quickly turn off the water in case you get it to flow, and leaks are detected.
Minimize Distracting Noise – You will usually be able to hear water flowing through the pipes once it starts, and turning the radio or TV off could help you to prevent a big mess in case you have a burst pipe.
Open up all of the indoor faucets (sinks, bathtubs, etc) for two reasons: 1) if you can achieve just a little bit of flow through the pipes, then often the flowing water will quickly thaw out the ice remaining in the pipes. 2) To relieve pressure when flow is restored so that any leaks will flow at a slower rate to give you more time to turn off the main water valve, and thereby minimize water damage.
Crank up the heat. Try to get heat to the areas that are most likely to be frozen. Obviously the most likely places for the pipes to be frozen are where it is coldest – crawl spaces, unheated basements, water meter boxes, garages, etc. Be careful with space heaters and extension cords, you don’t want to burn down the house. Don’t crank up the heat and then run off to town. Keep an eye on everything just in case the water starts to flow. Continue reading “How to Thaw Frozen Plumbing Pipes”