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Preventing and Dealing with Frozen Pipes

Cartoon of a man who is trying to that his frozen pipes, which can be fixed by Black Bear Fuel Oil in Harris, NY

Frozen water pipes can create expensive problems in your home ranging from simple flood damage to mold growth and even structural damage.

But most frozen pipe problems are preventable with a few simple precautions. Here are some tips to prevent and resolve problems cause by frozen pipes in your New York home.

Before a cold snap

  • Insulate pipes in areas exposed to colder air (crawl spaces, the attic, etc.)
  • Seal air leaks near pipes, around dryer vents, and any other areas exposed to outside air
  • Shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets

In winter

  • Run a trickle of warm water overnight on especially cold nights
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night; overnight temperature drops could catch you off guard
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks

If you leave for vacation or have a seasonal home

  • Keep your thermostat set for a minimum of 55°F
  • Ask a neighbor to check your home during cold snaps
  • Follow all directions for “before a cold snap” above

If your pipes freeze

  • Never operate appliances in standing water
  • Never use an open flame to thaw pipes
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with a hair dryer; start by warming the pipe close to the faucet, working toward the coldest section of pipe. If that doesn’t provide immediate and complete relief, call a plumber right away

If your water pipes have burst

  • Turn off water at the main shutoff valve in the house; teach everyone in your family where the water shutoff valve is and how to close it.
  • Contact a plumber immediately!

For service on frozen pipes and other expert emergency plumbing services in any season, you can always trust The Bear. Contact us today to learn more.