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2 January 2018
URGENT: WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE FROZEN PIPES
Due to the extended period of freezing temperatures, we are experiencing a high call volume due to frozen pipes. We understand how inconvenient having a frozen pipe can be. I would like to share some things for you to try to help you get your water flowing faster. These are the same things we would look at first and try ourselves. There are starting points based on the situations listed below. As there is no way to see inside all the pipes behind all the walls throughout your home, it is essentially a needle in a haystack trying to find a section of water in a standing pipe that has frozen. Please try these first; and if you continue to have an issue or a broken pipe occurs, give us a call at 704-795-9349, and we will be happy to help.
The first thing you want to arm yourself with is a blow dryer. Then go ahead and open up both a hot and cold faucet in your home to allow the water to move within the pipes and/or relieve pressure.
No water at all to any fixture in your home?
• The most likely culprit is the pipe closest to your main shutoff valve – the valve you would turn to cut off all the water in an emergency. Find that shutoff valve and use the blow dryer to warm up the pipes at that valve. From there you would work your way back.
No hot water flowing from any of the fixtures in your home?
• The most likely culprit is either the cold water inlet or hot water outlet pipes to/from your water heater. Grab that blow dryer and start warming up those pipes. If your water heater is in the garage, attic, utility room, anywhere but outside you may want to place a space heater there facing the piping.
No water flowing from isolated individual faucets in your home?
• If it is a tub/shower that backs up to an outside wall or a kitchen sink, get a space heater in there blowing at the outside wall and get the area nice and warm. Open up the cabinet doors so the heat gets back in there to the wall behind.
• If there is an outside hose spigot on the outside behind the kitchen sink follow the above tip, but also be sure there is no hose hooked up to that outside spigot and open up that faucet so water can trickle out.
Once you have water flowing again, be sure to leave a faucet in your home dripping with both hot and cold water to keep movement within the pipes. Water can only freeze in there if it is sitting stagnant and not while it is flowing. We recommend this overnight while temperatures are plunging way below freezing and especially if the temperatures do not rise above freezing in a 24-hour period.
Are you experiencing no water at all in your home, no hot water at all in your home, no water to a single fixture in your home? Just like the 1000s of other homeowners, you had standing water in a pipe that has frozen somewhere. It is like a needle in a haystack, but there are some starting points depending on the situation. There’s not much more that we or anyone else can do for you, so First, do you have a blow dryer?
First open up a hot and cold faucet at a fixture furthest from your water heater and preferably one that is facing an outside wall.
Use the blow dryer to warm up the pipes around your main shut off valve and/or your water heater. Most likely it is right there. If it is a single fixture not getting water it is most likely on an outside wall. Go ahead and place a space heater blowing towards that wall. Open up all the cabinet doors and use the space heater to get inside the cabinet and to the wall behind. It is not your water heater that is frozen if you have no water at all from your hot side fixtures, but a pipe going to or leaving from the water heater.
Once you have water flowing, remember to keep the hot and cold dripping in a faucet or shower somewhere in your home As well as the kitchen sink – especially if you have an outside hose spigot on the other side of the kitchen sink. If you have hoses hooked up to any outdoor hose spigots, remove them and wrap your outside spigots with a towel to try to insulate it and keep it warm. There is no way for anyone to know exactly where in one of the many pipes behind your walls that a section of stagnant water was sitting and became frozen, but this is a good starting point.
Once you have tried that, feel free to give us a call back if you need further assistance or have an active leak, plumbing or drain problem. Most of all stay warm.
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