Frozen water expands, and if it sticks in the plumbing, it will force its way out by bursting pipes. Water won’t flow immediately, but if the temperature warms, the ice will melt, leading to flooding, or worse, if it contacts an electrical circuit. Here are the first tasks you should do if a frozen pipe bursts.
Steps to Follow After a Frozen Plumbing Catastrophe
1. Shut Off the Water Main
Shutting off the water limits the damage from the burst pipe. The frozen section may only be three or four inches long, so water could be waiting to get released. Removing the water supply allows the homeowner, and the plumber, to get the current water under control without introducing more.
2. Drain the Water Supply
While waiting for a plumber, turn the cold water on in the home, including bathtubs and toilets, to stop more water from freezing. Removing all water from the plumbing reduces pressure in the pipes, minimizing the chance of other bursts.
3. Warm the Pipes
Open cabinets and doors to get warm air circulating through the home. If the break is inside your house, such as under a sink, place a bucket under the pipe and use a hairdryer to unfreeze the water inside. Use space heaters or turn up the thermostat to increase the temperature throughout the house. If the burst occurred in the basement, space heaters are the best option, but if one isn’t available, use a regular fan. Circulating air is warmer than stagnant cold air.
If you have any problems with your plumbing, contact the experts at Norblom Plumbing in St. Paul, MN. Since 1923, they’ve repaired plumbing, sump pumps, and water heaters for residential and commercial clients alike. Call (612) 827-4033 to schedule an appointment or visit them online to review their services.