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An old pipe breaks in freezing weather

How to Deal With Frozen Pipes in 4 Steps

When you get up to make your morning coffee on a cold, frosty day in Sioux Falls, SD, the last thing you want to deal with is frozen pipes. They’re inconvenient, and if they rupture, you could be stuck with water damage. Sometimes you can thaw a frozen pipe yourself and get on with your day. Find out what to do in the following steps and when it’s time to call a professional plumber.

1. Investigate Indoor and Outdoor Pipes

Find frozen pipes by turning on each of your home’s faucets. If a faucet runs slow or not at all, it’s likely due to ice in the pipe. Check unheated locations in your home with exposed water supply pipes.

Try the attic, basement, crawl spaces, the cabinet under the kitchen sink, and garage. With the South Dakota winters getting as cold as 10 degrees Fahrenheit, you might also discover that a frozen pipe is located inside an uninsulated exterior wall of your home and will need a professional to thaw it out.

Other indicators include frost on pipes or signs of leaks, like water or ice underneath pipes. Outdoors, check hose bibs, supply lines to the swimming pool, and lines for water sprinklers, as these often succumb to freezing.

2. Help! A Pipe Has Burst!

Turn off your Sioux Falls, SD home’s main water supply if you see any signs of a water leak and call a plumber immediately. As the water in a pipe freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipe, which can crack it open.

Sometimes, a leak won’t happen until after the ice has thawed, but once the icy block melts, it lets the water flow through the ruptured pipe. This event can cause a gushing leak and a lot of water damage quickly.

3. Open the Faucet Connected to the Frozen Pipe

Once you’ve found the frozen pipe section, turn on the connected faucet. Air is often trapped between the ice and running water, and opening the faucet allows the air pockets to escape and keeps the pipe from bursting. The running water also helps to melt the ice.

If the frozen pipe section is behind a wall, it’s better not to take any chances of a ruptured pipe. Turn off the main water supply and call the plumber. If you have not seen any signs of a ruptured pipe, leave the main water supply on, but be ready to shut it off quickly if needed.

4. Thaw the Exposed Frozen Pipes

After turning on the faucet connected to a frozen pipe, start applying heat. Use a heating pad, hot towels, a room heater, or a blow dryer.

Continue applying heat and running the faucet until the water flows at full pressure. Avoid using aggressive heat elements or heat from open flame because it can melt, crack or otherwise damage pipes or start a house fire.

When You Need Professional Help

Locating a frozen pipe isn’t always easy, especially if it’s hidden deep in a wall. Sometimes, you need a plumber to locate the frozen section and heat the pipe with special equipment to avoid tearing the wall open.

If you have a leak, ruptured pipe, or frozen pipe that needs immediate attention to prevent any damage, call us 24/7, and we’ll provide you with a free estimate, quality emergency service, and repair options to fit your budget. Broken pipes and water damage can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Don’t wait — protect your home from water damage and call us today!

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