Protecting Your Plumbing in Winter: How to Prevent & Thaw Frozen Pipes

Plumbing Solutions of Idaho expert tips

very frozen pipes under kitchen sink

Winter in Boise, Idaho, brings with it a common yet often underestimated household challenge – frozen pipes. The intricate network of pipes that effortlessly deliver water to various parts of our homes can become a significant source of frustration when they freeze.

At Plumbing Solutions in Idaho, we understand the inconvenience and potential damage frozen pipes can cause. Frozen pipes can quickly become a homeowner’s nightmare, leading to burst pipes, water damage, and expensive repairs. 

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through effective strategies to prevent frozen pipes and, if necessary, how to thaw them if you’re too late.

Read on to learn more or reach out to our expert plumbers in Boise if you have questions or need help!

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Here are some tips that can help prevent your pipes from freezing:

  1. Insulate Exposed Pipes: Pipes in unheated areas like basements, attics, and garages are particularly vulnerable. Insulating these pipes can significantly reduce the risk of freezing.
  2. Trickle Water Through Faucets: During freezing weather, keep a slight trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to vulnerable pipes. This constant flow helps prevent freezing.
  3. Open Cabinet Doors: Allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing by keeping cabinet doors open in the kitchen and bathroom. This is especially effective for pipes under sinks.
  4. Maintain Consistent Indoor Temperature: Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature during both day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees, especially if you plan to be away for an extended period.
  5. Seal Cracks and Openings: Check for any drafts near your pipes, particularly where they enter or exit the walls. Sealing these gaps helps keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
  6. Disconnect Outdoor Hoses: Remove, drain, and store garden hoses. Close the inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs and open the outside hose bibs to drain any remaining water.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If your pipes have already frozen, here are some tips to thaw them safely and effectively:

  1. Identify the Problem Area: If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, chances are you have a frozen pipe. Keep the faucet open, as running water will help melt the ice.
  2. Apply Heat: Once you locate the frozen section, apply heat using a heating pad, electric blow dryer, or towels soaked in hot water. Avoid using open flame devices.
  3. Thawing Accessible Pipes: For pipes under sinks or in the open, you can directly apply heat. Start from the faucet end and work your way down to the coldest section of the pipe.
  4. Dealing with Inaccessible Pipes: If the frozen pipe is not visible or accessible, try increasing the indoor temperature or use an infrared lamp to heat the wall area where the pipe is located.
  5. Call a Professional: If you’re unable to locate the frozen pipe, or your efforts to thaw it are unsuccessful, it’s time to call a professional plumber, like the ones on our team. We have the tools and expertise to safely resolve the issue!

Boise Plumbing Pros Are Just a Call Away!

Dealing with frozen pipes in Boise, ID or the surrounding area can be a daunting task, but with the right preventive measures and solutions, you can minimize the risk and impact. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your home’s plumbing system remains functional and efficient even during Boise’s coldest winters. If you’re experiencing any kind of plumbing issue, Plumbing Solutions of Idaho is always here to help. Stay warm and safe this winter and don’t hesitate to call us!

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