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Preventing and Thawing a Frozen Water Pipe

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First Things First: Preparing for the Thaw


Pipe Thawing Preparation

When pipes are frozen you'll find that when you turn the faucet on no water will come out or it will flow out in a trickle. As soon as you realize a pipe is frozen you need to take immediate action.

  • If the pipe burst (even if still frozen without leaking) then immediately shut off the water to the faucet locally or at the water main!
  • Open the faucet that is supplied by the frozen pipe even if you do not yet know where it is frozen.
  • Identify the frozen water supply pipe and find the location of the blockage.
  • Follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas such as an exterior wall, unheated crawl space or in some cases an unheated basement if the pipe is near an outside wall.
  • Often the frozen area of the pipe will be frosted or have ice on it. If the situation is getting critical the pipe may be slightly bulged or look slightly fissured.

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