It’s winter so the surroundings are frigid. When you turn the faucets on, it is possible that you won’t even get a trickle. Panic could easily set in since you know that you’ve paid the water bill it’s just that, this scenario requires a more difficult answer. Frozen pipes are the last thing that you need during a cold, winter season.
Call the Experts
Calm down, the best way to solve this is to call the pros and let them handle the job. Do not hesitate to spend and call their number. If it is very early in the morning, though, you might need to wait a few hours and, by then, the problem might be a lot worse.
So, what is the next best thing to do?
Leave the Faucets On
Find out which faucets are affected. Turn on each one that you think is frozen. When you open the flow, you somehow relieve the pressure on each of the pipes. When this happens, the water which expanded due to freezing will now thaw. This is what you would want to happen if you want to speed up the melting of the frozen pipes.
Since the rest of the pipes are still not frozen (but they might be in a few minutes or hours), it’s also a good idea to just leave the rest of the faucets on, too. Just let the unaffected ones drip so that water remains running instead of stagnant.
Warm Up the Room
Another way to help the frozen pipes thaw is to turn up the heat in the room. This becomes much quicker if the bathroom comes with its own built-in heater. If it comes with radiant heat flooring, then crank those up, too.
Allow Air to Circulate
Another way to relieve frozen pipes is to leave doors open (this allows the air to circulate inside your home). Just don’t open the doors that let in the cold drafts outdoors because you will be dealing with a different and worse problem then.
Aim your space heaters towards the frozen pipes also. A word of caution to those who are using electrical heaters, though, since they should not be placed close to the frozen pipes. Panicking might lead you to rush and have the heaters stay as close as possible to your problematic pipes – just don’t.
Keep an eye also on your portable heater so that it is kept safe from water droplets. The smallest amount of water can easily electrocute you or anyone. This is also the case with a heat lamp.
There are also homeowners who use blow dryers to solve the issue. You may also try those.
Heat and Thaw the Pipes
If you believe that the affected pipes are those that are from the upper stories, then you can up the heat along the entire pipe length. Continue checking all the pipes as you go down the stories. Touch each of them in order to find the frozen ones. Don’t worry, it’s easy to spot frozen pipes.
You can also thaw the pipes by using a space heater or even a simple tool as a hot towel. NEVER use blowtorch, propane heater, or kerosene. Even a charcoal stove won’t do as would any open-flame equipment.
Check for Leaks
As soon as the pipes begin thawing, this is the best time to check also for leaks. Once you hear a trickling sound, then go to the main valve and have it shut down. Call a plumber immediately.
If, however, you do not hear any rushing waters, then just turn all the faucets off. To avoid the recurrence of this issue, be sure to leave the heat on both day and night until the weather becomes bearable for the pipes.