OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – By now, most people know that they need to keep their faucets running to prevent the pipes from freezing. But what if they do? Plumbers say there are a few things you can try to correct the problem, but even they find the freeze difficult to locate and fix.
“Brushed my teeth, turned off the tap, and didn’t even think about it,” said Christiaan Patterson.
It was a mistake the homeowner realized she had made too late.
“I’m like please, please, please,” she said, trying when she woke up, “and I turned the tap and nothing.”
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It is dismay that people face across the state.
“I’ve got the most frozen pipe calls I’ve ever had and I’ve been in the plumbing business for 27 years,” said Jason Walmsley of Trinity Plumbing. “I’ve never seen it like this before.”
Depending on where your pipes are, Walmsley said you might be able to thaw them yourself.
“If it’s just the hot side, the water pipes in the water heater’s cabinet are usually frozen, especially in the garage,” he said. “If it’s the whole house, I’ve seen some underground water pipes that are frozen, and if that’s the case then unfortunately you have to wait for it to warm up.”
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He said as long as you don’t leave them unattended, you can try space heaters or even blow dryers, although the latter are less effective. Simply open the cabinets and turn on the faucet to allow water to flow through when thawing.
“Unfortunately, in my experience, the little electric heaters and the like mostly don’t work, especially when it’s cold now,” he said.
Even with his tools, the puzzle is difficult to solve.
“You look at an area, when it’s nothing, move around and just go on and on,” Walmsley said.
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And while insulation can work, even heavy-duty, construction-quality insulation is unlikely to be of much use at these temperatures. If your tubes are already frozen, wait for them to thaw before wrapping them.
The best prevention is to let your faucets run more than a drop.
“I would go way beyond dripping water,” said Walmsley. “I wouldn’t turn the tap on all the way, but almost halfway. I know it sounds crazy and wastes a lot of water, but in my eyes this is cheaper than freezing and popping your pipe, especially in a bad place like under the house or in a wall. I would run every tap in your house. “
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