What to Do if Your Plumbing Freezes

Posted by Gary Gray on Jan 22, 2020


It's true, Jacksonville FL rarely sees temperatures that drop below freezing, but it happens, and when it does, your home's pipes could freeze. That's because in the South, many homeowners don't insulate their pipes.

We've gotten plenty of panicked calls from customers who don't know what to do about it. As frozen pipes can lead to property damage, it's good to be concerned, but there's no need to panic! Here's all you need to know to handle frozen pipes, if and when, they occur.

Check to See if the Pipes Are Frozen or Busted 

Water sitting in pipes can easily freeze and cause a busted pipe. If you suspect your plumbing is frozen, the first step is to check your piping. If it looks solid and intact, it's likely just frozen. But if a pipe looks like it's split, you have a problem best left to a professional plumber. If you see an outside pipe that's covered in ice or is spraying water, that also indicates a snap. Turn off the water main and call for a repair!

Broken Pipes Need Emergency Repair 

Once you're aware you have a broken pipe, act quickly:

Call your plumber!

Don't Use the Toilet if the Water Supply is Broken 

Keep in mind that when you turn off the water supply, indoor plumbing doesn't do its job. While there are ways to flush a toilet when the water is shut off, such as manually filling the tank with water from another source, if a pipe is broken and you continue to flush the toilet, serious damage can occur. Even the smallest of trickles from a little hole can damage drywall, ruin floors, and cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Use a Hair Dryer or Heater to Thaw Small Freezes 

If one or more pipes is simply frozen, you can use a hair dryer or small heater to thaw them. Here's how to safely do it:

Be patient when thawing frozen pipes and don't give in to any temptation to speed up the process by using open flames or placing the heating device directly on the pipe. You can also speed things up by opening cabinets and crawl space doors so heat from the house can enter them.

Call Your Plumber 

If any problems persist, contact a licensed plumber. Be sure to ask about having vulnerable pipes protected from future cold snaps.

For more than 25 years, David Gray Plumbing has been serving the plumbing needs of Jacksonville, FL homeowners and we're here to answer any questions you have. To learn more about all the services we offer, or to schedule regular plumbing maintenance, give us a call at (904) 724-7211 or contact us online today.

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