Tips For Preventing And Thawing Frozen Pipes
One of the calls we get a decent amount of once it’s very cold out is about frozen pipes. It’s a common problem, but luckily it’s one that is easy to avoid with a bit of preparation. When we get a call about frozen pipes, most homeowners want us to rush right out, but the truth is there isn’t a ton we can do once the pipe is frozen. You are just going to have to thaw it out.
We have seen plenty of frozen pipes, some not so serious, and others that have led to some pretty bad water damage. In this article we will tell you the best ways to avoid frozen pipes in your South Jersey home, and what to do if you do happen to have a pipe freeze.
If you are having trouble with your pipes at home, insulation, or just need some advice about your plumbing, we can help. We have been helping businesses and homeowners in the South Jersey area for years with their plumbing, heating, and air conditioning issues. Give us a call at (609) 390-3907, or click here to contact us online!
How To Avoid Frozen Pipes
The best way of dealing with frozen pipes is to avoid them in the first place. We recommend taking steps that prevent the pipes from freezing, rather than dealing with the pipes once they freeze over. The best ways to avoid frozen pipes are:
- Keep The Areas Heated
- Keep The Pipes Insulated
- Use Heat Tape Or Heat Cables
- Open The Cabinets That Contain The Pipes
- Let Warm Water Drip Slightly
- Install A Wi-Fi Thermostat
Keep The Areas Heated
This is a basic solution. If the pipes are warm, and your home is heated properly, it should prevent your pipes from freezing. In our area, there are a decent amount of homes that are left uninhabited during the winter. For these homes that don’t have the heat on, this could be an issue. This is where the next few tips come in handy.
Keep The Pipes Insulated
Insulation is the best way to keep your home comfortable, and avoid wasting energy. This is a basic solution to keeping your home cozy, but it also helps the pipes too. Some pipes are located on outside walls, and in spots that tend to have less insulation like basements and garages.
You can easily insulate the pipes, and assure that when it gets cold out, they are still in fine shape.
Use Heat Tape Or Heat Cables
Now, if your pipes are leaking, do not put heat tape over them, but if you want to help prevent freezing, heat tape is a great solution. This tape helps keep the pipes warm in extreme temperatures, and prevents freezing.
Open The Cabinets That Contain Your Pipes
If you have water pipes that are located in cabinets, like in your kitchen, or maybe a sink in the basement, open the cabinets up. Exposing them to the heat in your home will prevent freezing. This shouldn’t be a permanent solution, but it’s one that will help you in a pinch to make the pipes SLIGHTLY warmer.
Let Warm Water Drip Slightly
If you let a bit of warm water drip, it will keep warm water moving through the pipes, and prevent them from freezing over. This is another solution that is not permanent, but if you have a particularly cold day, it’s a good temporary way to take care of the job.
Install A Wi-Fi Thermostat
A Wi-Fi thermostat is a great way to make sure your home is warm when you are away from the home. If you use your South Jersey home only during the summer, but want to avoid frozen pipes, a Wi-Fi Thermostat will allow you to control the temperature remotely. You could be anywhere in the world, and access the heating of your home on an app, and turn the temperature up. This is a great device that helps improve comfort, save energy, and will keep your pipes from freezing!
How To Thaw Frozen Pipes
Now that we know a little more about the best ways to prevent frozen pipes, now it’s time to address how to thaw a pipe once it does freeze over. You are going to want to thaw your pipes out, and we have a few different suggestions.
- Use A Space Heater
- Use A Hair Dryer
- Turn Up The Heat
Use A Space Heater
Out a space heater by your frozen pipes and let it slowly thaw the pipes. You don’t want the thawing to go TOO fast and crack a pipe. We recommend a medium setting for the heater, and make sure that you have a bucket or something to catch the thawing water.
Use A Hair Dryer
A hair dryer is like a mini space heater in a way! If you can get close enough to your pipes with a hair dryer, this is a great way to thaw the exact spots that are frozen with an appliance you likely already have in your home.
Turn Up The Heat
This is a basic solution, but simply turn up the heat in your home. You’ll want to keep an eye on the pipes to make sure that this works, and the heat is enough to do the trick.
Once the pipes are thawed out, run the water for about 3 minutes to make sure all the water that was frozen is cleared out, and your water is running properly again.
What you DON’T want to do is use an open flame to thaw your pipes. This is a fire hazard, and can also do damage to your pipes rather than just thawing them out.
Plumbing Problems In Ocean City, NJ
If you are having trouble with any plumbing issues in your home or business in Ocean City, NJ, Broadley’s can help. We have dealt with everything from frozen pipes to water heaters, bathroom fixtures, and more. We are the experts when it comes to plumbing in South Jersey, and we can help you out. Give us a call at (609) 390-3907, or contact us online for a little help with your plumbing!
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