Frozen Pipes – How to Recognize, Thaw and Avoid Them

Frozen Pipes – How to Recognize, Thaw and Avoid Them

When the temperature drops for extended periods of time, we often see claims involving frozen pipes.  Areas of your home or building that are at most risk are pipes located in or along outside walls, under a sink by an outside wall or in any unheated attic or crawlspace.  Here are five signs to look for:

  • Unusual Sounds – whistling, banging or clanking
  • Odors
  • Damp Drywall – wet rings on the ceiling
  • Persistent Plumbing Issues – The water doesn’t come on, it smells funny or a persistent clog
  • Wet or Iced Pipes – also check for bulging

If your pipes have frozen you will need to thaw them. If you are not comfortable doing this, you should call a plumber.

You will need to turn off the water. Next open the faucet of the frozen pipe to allow the water to flow through and relieve pressure. Apply heat to the frozen section using a heating pad or blow dryer. Heat the area where the pipe is located with a space heater. Keep applying heat until the water is flowing freely.

You can avoid frozen pipes by:

Leave faucets dripping.

Leave faucets dripping.

  • Letting faucets drip cold.
  • For pipes under a sink, leave the cabinet doors open.
  • Wrap kitchen and bathroom pipes in newspaper and use duct tape to secure.
  • If you will be gone overnight in extreme cold, leave the hat on.
  • If supply lines run through a garage, keep the doors closed.

If you will be leaving your home for an extended period of time during the winter you should have your pipes drained. Or leave your heat set no lower than 55-60 degrees. Remember if there is a power outage, it won’t take long for the temperature in your home to drop. So you should have someone checking your house regularly. A burst pipe can release hundreds of gallons of water.

For more information or answers to your insurance questions, contact us at Allan Block Insurance Agency, www.ambins.com, located in Tarrytown, NY in the heart of Westchester County, a key business district near New York City.  We write auto, home, renters, condo, co-op, personal, business, life and group insurance for clients locally and in NYC, CT, NJ, PA, MA and many other states. The Professional Agency with the Personal Touch.