Let's jump right to the point, you're either visiting this page because you're concerned that the pipes in your home may freeze over...or they already have. Either way, you need to know what to do about it, so here are a few simple tricks to help you handle those frozen pipes.
First, diagnose the issue.
A faucet that is running slower than usual, or just isn't running at all, could very well mean a frozen pipe if you're dealing with freezing temperatures.
- Turn on the faucet and look for signs of cracks, frost or bulges on the pipe supplying that faucet.
- If you don't see any of these, rub the pipe with a wet cloth. If part of the pipe is frozen, the cloth should frost over when from the contact.
You will of course want to thaw the frozen area of your pipe.
- First things first: shut off the water flow. If the pipe has already cracked or burst, thawing that pipe will allow water to flow freely and could result in a leak or worse - you could have a pipe burst.
- There are generally individual shut off valves located near sinks and toilets, but you may want to take a more drastic step and shut off the water supply to the entire house. This valve is typically around where water enters your home. It may be outside or in your basement. Once you locate it, you’ll want to turn the knob or lever clockwise to cut off the water supply.
- Once the water has been cut off, you can use heating pads, heating lamps, or hair dryers to melt the ice inside your pipe.
You may have a little cleanup to do later, though if you can catch the issue before a pipe actually bursts you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and money. Hopefully you won't have to worry about frozen pipes this winter, but it's always good to be prepared.