If the temperatures outside start to drop, you never know when that reliable water source you have funneled to your home could freeze, leaving you without water. Unfortunately, ill prepared homeowners sometimes lose their sense of good judgement when cold weather threatens their internal water supply. Using the wrong ideas or advice to get your water to thaw faster or keep it from freezing can lead to a lot of damage and a guaranteed visit from the plumber. Here are two huge mistakes you should avoid if you find that the water in your pipes is frozen or you suspect that it will.
Leaving the Water Running
It is a common practice to just leave water running at a trickle at bedtime when it is suspected the temperatures are going to drop low enough to cause a freeze. While this may sound like a good decision as moving water will be harder to freeze, there is one thing you have to remember. If an incoming line freezes, a drainage line can freeze just the same. What will happen to all of that water if the drain freezes and your not home to see it? An all out water disaster. You could wake up to find a house filled with water from an overflowing sink and it will not be a pretty scene. Instead of leaving the water running, it is a better idea to just get up every few hours and run water through the lines to help discourage freezing.
Thawing the Lines with an Open Flame
If you find that the water is frozen, you may be tempted to head out to the garage and grab a blow torch to heat things up. It is true that a hot flame will thaw things fast, but using an open flame in a closed in space where you do not have a lot of room to work can be dangerous. Furthermore, it is all too easy to allow pipes to get too hot and case them to melt or bust open. Thawing should be a gradual process. Open your cabinet doors, crank up the heat in your house, and even apply an electric heating pad if necessary.
Dealing with frozen water lines is always a headache. Therefore, the best way to avoid the mess is to prepare in advance with proper planning and a few good tools, such as heat tape or new pipe insulation installed by a plumber like Hilmans Plumbing, for more information.