Plumbing 101: What should you do if your pipes freeze this winter?

For many Buffalo homeowners, having their pipes freeze and burst is one of their worst nightmares. All it takes is one especially cold night and your furnace breaking down, and your home is at risk.

Last month, we reviewed some tips for preventing your pipes from freezing. But, what do you do when it’s already too late, and your pipes have frozen?

Don’t assume the problem will solve itself

When your pipes freeze, call Reimer for service.A frozen pipe is not something you should take lightly, or try to wait out. It’s very possible that a frozen pipe can burst, even after daybreak brings warmer temperatures.

At the same time, don’t panic. You need to act fast, but don’t do so in a way that puts yourself or others in danger, or that leads to worse problems for your home’s plumbing.

When your pipes freeze, here’s where you start

When your pipes freeze and you first notice the problem, start by immediately turning off the water supply at the main valve.

Here in Buffalo, snow drifts can often cover your outdoor valve—we recommend always knowing where this is, and perhaps even marking it so that you can find it quickly in an emergency and at night. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where the water valve is located, and also how to turn it off.

Turning off the water supply will at least limit the extent of the damage if your pipes do burst.

Next, call Reimer for emergency plumbing repair services. We offer 24/7 service specifically to deal with problems like frozen pipes.

Here’s what NOT to do

#1. Never try to defrost your own pipes

This is often a source of heartbreak, as a homeowner—in a panic—follows some not-so-sage Internet advice and attempts to defrost their own pipes using either boiling water, poured over the pipe, or an electric hairdryer. This is not recommended.

First, you don’t know where the freeze is at, so what you’re doing could be relatively ineffective. Second, frozen pipes are more likely to burst when rapidly defrosted. Plumbers carry special equipment that slowly-but-steadily defrosts the pipe, avoiding damage to the pipe and avoiding a burst.

#2. Don’t continue to use water and toilets

As we mentioned above, you need to turn off your home’s water supply. If there is a freeze in the pipe, it’s going to block water from going down. What can’t go down must come up. In other words, a frozen pipe is no time to be doing the dishes.

Call Reimer for emergency plumbing services in Buffalo and Western New York

When your pipes freeze, quick thinking and remaining calm can protect your home and your plumbing. Make the right call to Reimer for 24/7 emergency plumbing services. We have the right tools and experienced technicians who know their way around frozen pipes.

Contact our team today, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524.

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