You may have taken all necessary precautions during the winter to protect your plumbing pipes, but they may still end up freezing due to the low temperatures. Frozen water pipes are a nightmare for every homeowner. The pipes are unable to supply water to the taps, and they can easily burst and result in leaks in your home. Therefore, this situation should be treated as an emergency to avoid significant losses. As you contact a local plumber, consider taking the following measures to protect your frozen pipes from bursting.
Open the taps
When a pipe is frozen, the chances are that there will be no water coming through the taps on the affected connection. Check the taps closest to the frozen pipe and open it. If you are not sure, you can run all the taps and note those that do not have water flowing through them. Leave them open and close the rest. The open taps will increase pressure in the pipes, and this may help in promoting water flow. After some time, water will start trickling, and this flow will prevent the pipes from freezing further.
Inspect pipes for damage
As you wait for professional help, take time to inspect the frozen pipes for damage. If there are burst pipes, they will cause a leak. Contain the leak by placing a bucket underneath the pipes. You can also use old, thick clothes to wrap the pipe as you wait for repairs. If the leaking pipe is inaccessible, for example, if it is located in a wall and you can see water pooling on the wall, just switch off the water at the mains. Don't leave leaks unattended as they can cause water damage to your walls, insulation and paint, resulting in substantial losses and repair costs.
Thaw the pipes yourself
You can use some simple DIY steps to thaw frozen pipes and prevent bursting. Use your hairdryer to warm the pipe from the tap forward. It is best to start at the tap so that the melted ice can have somewhere to flow. If you begin warming in the middle of the pipe, the water will accumulate in the pipe and cause it to burst. Leave the tap open and work your way upwards until there is a steady flow of water. Do not use an open flame as it can damage the plumbing pipes.
Contact an emergency plumber immediately if you notice that your pipes are frozen. After repairs have been done, insulate the pipes to avoid further freezing in the future.