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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Frozen Pipes Facts

12/7/2015 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe Facts

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal and plastic pipes.  No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.  Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold.

During cold weather, take preventative action:

- Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent freezing.

- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and night.  You may incur a little higher heating bill, but, you can prevent a much more costly repair job if a pipe were to burst.

- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees.

To thaw frozen pipes:

- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe.  Likely places include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.

- Keep the faucet open.  As you treat the pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area.  Running water will help melt the ice inside.

- Apply heat to the section of pipe like using an electric heating pad or hairdryer.  Never use an open flame.

- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.  If you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes.

***If in doubt about any of the above steps or if you do not feel comfortable with the situation, it is always best to contact a licensed plumber.

In the event you incur frozen pipe damage, SERVPRO of Newton / Wellesley trained technicians are available 24/7 to assist with your cleanup and restoration needs.

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