My Pipes Froze. Now What?

Monday, August 19, 2019

We know we’ve written about this topic a lot, but it is one of the most common service calls Marines Plumbing goes on in the winter months.

First, let’s make sure your pipes are frozen. What do you look for to know that this is what’s going on?

Well, any time there is weather below freezing, there is a chance for your pipes to freeze. Additionally, if you see either of these things, it’s a fairly good indicator that the pipes froze.

  1. Water is not flowing to everything. Maybe you can use the toilet and the kitchen sink, but no water is coming out of your shower.
  2. No water anywhere. If the main line freezes, you won’t have water anywhere.

If either of these are occurring, don’t panic! Yes, frozen pipes are not good and can lead to very significant damage, but there is no need to freak out. Here is what you can do:

Apply Heat

If you know where the freeze occurred, as quickly as you can, try to thaw out the pipes. You can do this by putting hot rags on the pipe. Continue repeatedly until the pipes are warm again.

You can also use a hair dryer if you have one, but this will take a little longer.

Whatever you do, never use a blowtorch or open flame to heat up the pipes. It’s incredibly dangerous and not worth the risk.

Open Faucet

You want to keep the faucet open, even if no water is currently coming out. As the frozen water melts, the water will travel down the pipe and with the faucet open you can gauge when this occurs.

If you are heating the pipes while you wait for a professional to evaluate, this will allow you to know if you are having any success. If you aren’t seeing any water come through, you may not be at the right place in the pipe.

Call Marines Plumbing

In any scenario (you know where the freeze occurred or you don’t), call Marines Plumbing as soon as you know there is a frozen pipe. We can evaluate and troubleshoot for not only obvious damage, but also hidden damage. We will thoroughly check all your pipes to make sure the freeze is isolated and hasn’t resulted in a leak or a pipe bursting.

If there has been damage, we will make any needed repairs so that your water flow gets back up and running.

Unfortunately, the cold weather doesn’t appear to be on its way out of Northern VA quite yet, so keep an eye on your pipes and call Marines Plumbing at the first indication of any freezing!

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