How to avoid freezing pipes
For many homeowners in cooler climates, enduring freezing temperatures includes preparing to avoid freezing pipes. There are a number of ways to prevent the mess, headache and plumbing repairs that frozen pipes can bring, but the right preventive measures often depend on the type of home you live in.
When cold weather hits or if a broken heating unit catches you off guard, taking basic measures, such as keeping your cabinet doors open or keeping your faucet running at a slow trickle each time the temperature dips may be in order.
However, in some cases, taking bigger steps will require specific investments including installation of freeze-proof boxes on outdoor water spigots, installing pipe insulation or putting heat tape on pipes.
But even when the best measures are taken, pipes freeze anyway. Now what do you do? Your first task is to assess how much damage, if any, needs to be addressed. If there is excessive damage, such as burst pipes, you will need to hire a plumbing contractor to fix the problem.
However, if it's as simple as getting water flowing again, the pipes must be thawed first. To do this, turn on your kitchen faucet to allow flow once the pipes thaw. Use a hair dryer, and be patient as you heat the pipes under your sink. If you are still unsure if you are able to thaw your pipes, call a licensed, qualified plumbing contractor to help.
If you're in the Chicago area, Angie's List has a database of consumer reviews and information on more than 2,000 Chicago plumbers. Consult Angie's List to find the best contractor to suit your home's needs.