Toronto homes that have been around for decades are suddenly dealing with pipes that are freezing during the night.
Coming back from vacation or waking up to a faucet that will spit out no water can be scary. When the pipes freeze, it can be frustrating and the problems can range from a simple, but annoying lack of running water to extremely expensive burst pipes that can damage your entire home.
Here are the things you should do when your pipes do freeze so you can thaw them, get them working again, and avoid major damage.
1. Open the Faucets
Go to every faucet that won’t work and turn it on. It doesn’t have to be on full blast, but just enough so that water would trickle out.
Since the pipes are froze, nothing will come out. But, turning the faucet on is extremely important in the process of thawing them.
When you get the pipes warm and the ice defrosts, steam will be released. If the faucets are open, the steam can escape safely. If they’re not, the steam stays in the pipe and creates a huge amount of internal pressure. This is what usually causes the pipes to burst and break.
If this happens, you will get flooded. This can destroy floors, lead to mold growth, destroy walls, and cause other pipes to break.
Make sure you open the faucets first before you do anything else.
2. If possible, turn off main water valve
Sometimes this is not possible, but if you can, turn off the main valve. This will also help with the pressure in the pipes.
3. Warm the pipes
Do NOT use a blow torch on the pipes. You can damage the pipes and make a huge mess.
If possible, turn up the heat in the house. This helps a great deal.
Space heaters and heat lamps work well but you run the risk of any leaks causing problems with the electric heaters. Use a bucket to get any leaked water.
The best way, even though it’s messy, is to use hot water. Wrap heavy towels around the pipes and hold the hot water against it. Pour the hot water on the towels. Use a bucked underneath to catch the excess water.
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