Yes, but you don’t necessarily want them to.
What do we mean by that? Well, frozen pipes lead to burst pipes. Most homeowners aren’t aware of this (unless they’ve experienced it already) but as the ice inside frozen pipes thaws out, the water caught between the ice and the closed faucet creates an increase in pressure within the pipe. This leads to your plumbing pipes shattering from the inside out.
Therefore, as temperatures warm in preparation for spring, right now is when you should be the most concerned about running into a plumbing problem.
“What Can I Do To Help My Pipes Thaw?”
The best way to help frozen pipes is by preventing them altogether, which we will get to below. But there’s a good chance if you’ve come across this blog post that you already have frozen pipes and are wondering how to manage them.
As temperatures increase, keep your faucets open on the frozen pipes. But be cautious about trying to do anything to thaw them out on your own, such as using electric blankets, space heaters or hair dryers. (Some homeowners have even tried using a blow torch—please refrain from doing this!)
If you have frozen pipes, the best thing for you to do is to call in a professional plumber. We can assist with the thawing process so you have less risk of burst pipes, and we’ll be there in case something does go amiss with the process so we can mitigate the damage as much as possible.
Preventing Frozen Pipes in the Future
So what can you do next fall, before temperatures dip again, to avoid this problem altogether? Here’s a brief step-by-step guide.
- Open Your Faucets: We’re talking about faucets connected to pipes that are susceptible to freezing—so mainly, outdoor faucets. Open these faucets and let them drain, and then leave them open. You may even consider getting insulated caps for the faucet heads.
- Disconnect Hoses: Drain them first, to ensure minimal water is left in them, and then store them someplace that doesn’t reach freezing temperatures.
- Insulate Pipes: There are some pipes in your home that are exposed, yet not outside where it gets the coldest. We’re talking about your plumbing in your basement, as well as under your sinks. You can get affordable insulating sleeves at any hardware store, or even use towels if you’d rather go that route. Either way, this helps keep the temperature of the water in the pipes from dropping too low.
- Keep Cabinets Open: Speaking of those pipes under the sink—keeping your cabinets open even just a crack helps the heat from your furnace or heating system reach them to make them less likely to freeze. You may not think about these pipes freezing because they’re indoors, but they often run behind walls that face outdoors, exposing them to colder temperatures.