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Thawing Frozen Pipes


With unxecpected cold snaps or deep freezes, comes frozen pipes. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands and can exert pressure over 2000 pounds per sqare inch causing a pipe to burst. Several hundreds gallons of water per hour spills into your home, causing thousands of dollars to your home. Simple things, like letting a water faucet drip or opening the cabinet under your sinks can prevent your pipes from freezing. If you have a problem pipe, wrap it with electrical tape or insulate with foam insulation.

By taking preventive steps, you may never need to worry about frozen pipes, or worse, repairing a pipe that has burst and caused extensive water damage in your home. Whether your pipes are frozen or if they burst, the first thing you should do is shut off the water at the main! If your pipes do freeze, open the faucet so steam produced by your thawing efforts will be able to escape. Always remember to start thawing pipe at the faucet and work toward other end of frozen section, to prevent further air pressure caused by melting ice. Try to identify the frozen water supply and find the location of the blockage. Follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas such as an exterior wall or an unheated basement if the pipe in near an outside wall.

The frozen pipe will be frosted or have ice on it. The safest way to thaw a pipe is hot water. Pour hot water down your drain and/or wrap frozen pipe with a hot, wet heavy towel. Use a hair dryer or small portable heater to warm pipes. (Never leave the heated source unattended). If pipe is close to a wall, place a cookie sheet behind the pipe to radiate heat.

Always take precautions when using electric appliances near water. You will want to make sure you have buckets under the thawing pipes to catch all the melted runoff. Never use a flame torch because of the fire hazard it creates. Open flame torches are the most common cause of pipe thawing related home fires. If you do have a pipe that has already burst, get to the main shut off valve and turn your water off.

You will need to call a professional plumber in Omaha to repair the broken pipes. Since your water will be turned off, additional water should not spill into your home. Attempt to remove some of the water as soon as possible to minimize water damage. Call the American Rooter plumbing team at 402-298-5414 for all your plumbing needs in the Omaha area.

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