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How to Deal with Frozen Pipes in Winter

This is a topic that we need to turn to ever year right as winter starts to close in because it’s one of the major threats that household plumbing faces when temperatures plunge below zero. Frozen pipes are bad news for a whole range of reasons, but the two most important are:

  1. Frozen pipes stop the flow of water
  2. Frozen pipes can lead to pipe bursting and potential flooding

What can you do about frozen pipes? Let’s look at the steps you can take:

  • First, you need to shut off the water flow to the frozen section of the plumbing. This may sometimes require shutting off the water for the whole house if there isn’t a local shut-off valve. Get a towel and a bucket ready as well, since you might be dealing with water spilling from cracks in the pipe
  • Don’t use a propane torch for thawing the pipe! People often resort to this, but it’s a major fire risk.
  • Now… call our plumbers for help.

Wait a minute…! You thought we were going to give you advice about using a hair-dryer, space heater, or heat tapes to thaw those pipes, right? That’s the sort of advice you’ll find at DIY sites. But there’s a serious problem with doing this—it may cause the pipes to burst!

You see, the real danger of burst pipes comes not from the expansion of the ice inside the pipe, but from the rise in pressure between the pipe and the closed taps when the ice is thawed. If you attempt to thaw a frozen pipe using something as basic as a space heater or as expensive as thermostatically controlled heat tape, you might end up with a big mess when the pipe bursts open.

You can trust that we’ll fix your frozen pipes without running into a burst pipe disaster. Trust us: we’ve been helping with piping in this area for more than two decades.

For fast and reliable plumbing service this winter, call on Red Rock Mechanical LLC. Serving the Plattsburgh, NY area for over 23 years.

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