How to Handle Frozen Pipes for the First-Time Homeowner

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When you are buying your first home and looking at becoming responsible for all the upkeep, maintenance, and problems, there are a lot of things that you need to worry about. That includes your plumbing system. If you have had a maintenance person who could come in and fix any problems or a landlord who did all the worrying about what kind of pipes your house had, you may not have paid any attention to your plumbing. There are common problems that you may not have had to handle on your own, like frozen pipes, that you now have to deal with. 

How Are Frozen Pipes Handled?

If you live in a place that regularly has very cold temperatures in the winter, you are going to run the risk of frozen pipes. There are two important parts to handling frozen pipes. Those are preventing them from freezing and knowing what to do when they do freeze. 

Prevention

There are different things you can do to keep your pipes from freezing. If you have pipes that run up an exterior wall, make sure that you can get some heat to them. That can mean opening up access or cabinet doors so that the heat from your house can get into where the pipes are. You can also do things like install heat tape on the pipes. Heat tape is actually a cable that you wrap around the pipe and then plug into an electrical outlet to help to keep your pipes nice and toasty. 

Thawing the pipes out

When you end up with a frozen pipe, you want to make sure that you thaw it out carefully. That's because if you do it too quickly, you run the risk of bursting your pipes. First thing you want to do is to turn off the water because that will take the pressure off the ice jams that are now inside your pipes. Then you want to slowly heat the pipes up. You can put a space heater facing them, use a hair dryer, or use a heating pad. Just make sure that you are paying attention so that your electrical appliances aren't going into any puddles. You can also wrap the pipes up with warm rags or towels. If you leave the faucet open, you will see whether water is starting to move, and that will tell you if the pipe is starting to defrost. 

If you are buying your first house, there are things that you are going to have to deal with, including frozen pipes. If you have problems you don't know how to handle that are pressing, call a professional such as Herber Plumbing & Heating.

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