Oklahoma City's Plumbing Experts

Dangers of Frozen Pipes: Prevention and Thawing Tips

When a cold snap hits the Oklahoma City area, it can leave your pipes vulnerable to freezing. Ice forming inside your pipes can result in them bursting and flooding your home.

Pay Close Attention to Pipes in the Garage, Attic or Crawlspace

If there are pipes running through parts of your home that aren't adequately insulated, such as a crawlspace, the attic, or the garage, these are the areas where freezing is most likely to occur.

Be sure to keep attic windows and garage doors closed as much as possible during the winter months to help protect these pipes against the elements.

If freezing pipes in these parts of your home becomes a frequent problem, you may want to consider adding some insulation those rooms, providing an additional source of heat or having those pipes removed and reinstalled through other parts of your home.

Heating Tape

A great way to prevent ice from forming is to install heating tape or a heat trace cable to pipes that are prone to freezing. Found at most home improvement or plumbing supply stores, heating tape has an embedded electrical filament that keeps the pipes warm.

Other Preventative Measures

In addition to methods mentioned above, some other things you can do to help prevent ice from forming inside your pipes include:

  • Running the hot water for a while
  • Keeping cabinet doors under sinks open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes
  • Adding foam insulation to your pipes

How to Thaw Frozen PipesPerson Checking Frozen Pipes

If you have a blockage in your pipes due to the formation of ice, you need to melt it as soon as possible before it has a chance to expand and break your pipes. You can try to apply directly to the pipes using a hair dryer.

Alternatively, you can warm up the surrounding area with the use of space heaters or heat lamp. We don't recommend using a torch to heat pipes, as this can be a fire hazard since pipes are often located near walls or joists.

If your pipes remain frozen, call an experienced plumber right away. With specialized tools, they can pinpoint where the issue is and thaw the ice quickly.

While you're waiting for the plumber to arrive, you may want to turn off the main water valve to your home so that, if the pipe were to burst, the amount of flooding would be limited to just the amount of water beyond the shut-off valve.

You can then turn on some taps in the house to relieve some of the pressure inside the pipes and provide some expansion room for the forming ice.

If your pipes have frozen and you can't thaw them, don't wait to call a plumber in the hopes that it will go away. Frozen pipes can be categorized as a plumbing emergency because of their potential to cause far greater damage.

For quick service and repairs for any plumbing emergency in your Oklahoma City home, call (405) 246-9763 for Hull Plumbing.

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