Oh NOooo! The pipes are frozen. You will quickly learn how hard it is to cope with no water when you don’t have any!
We did leave the water dripping from two separate faucets on opposite ends of the house. The day our pipes froze, low temperature broke a record set back in 1985, almost 30 years ago! The best information I found online about thawing frozen pipes safely was on the Red Cross site. They provide information on Preventing & Thawing Frozen Pipes. I’m going to share with you how I thawed our frozen pipes safely.
What to Do When The Pipes Are Frozen
- Keep the faucet open. As the pipe begins to thaw, running water through the lines will assist with the thawing process
- Carefully apply heat to the area of pipe which is frozen. Do this by wrapping an electric heating pad around the pipe, or using a blow dryer on that section of pipe. If the pipe is located in an area where you can place an electric space heater safely, that can help as well. Never use a blowtorch or any open flame on a frozen pipe!
- Call a licensed plumber if the area of frozen pipe is not accessible
- Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to interior heat, especially for areas which are on an outside wall as with most kitchens
We left the pipes dripping, unhooked the water hose from the faucet outside, and wrapped our well. The pipes froze anyway! The water enters our home and the whole house water cut off is located in our laundry room. The laundry room is the only room in the house without air vents which means that room is cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
How I Thawed My Frozen Pipes
I did a quick internet search. (Thank goodness the internet is not affected by cold weather, right!) Knowing my circumstances, I chose to put an electric heater facing the wall where the water comes into the house. The cut-off valve felt very cold and that particular wall was very cold, even though it is an interior wall. It was worth the effort to heat that room and hope for the best. I set the electric heater facing the cold wall. About an hour later, the water was flowing again!
If you use an electric space heater for any reason, PLEASE watch this quick video (only 31 seconds) produced by FEMA
Unfortunately, pipes do freeze in the kind of bitter cold our country is experiencing this winter. Take precautions by educating yourself. You can read more about it on the Red Cross website here. Always operate space heaters safely, learn more about it here.
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