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How do I thaw my kitchen pipes after a freeze?

Dealing with frozen pipes requires caution to avoid damage. Here’s how to safely thaw them and prevent freezing in the future:

Thawing Frozen Pipes Safely:

  1. Identify Frozen Sections: Check for areas where water trickles or doesn’t flow at all. This indicates a likely freeze point.
  2. Open Faucets: Open both hot and cold faucets slightly. This relieves pressure and allows melted water to escape.
  3. Apply Heat: Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, or electric heating pad to apply gentle heat to the frozen section, starting from the faucet end and moving toward the blockage.
  4. Use Hot Towels: Wrap towels soaked in hot water around the pipe as an alternative to direct heating.
  5. Avoid Open Flames: Never use a torch or open flame to thaw pipes, as this poses a significant fire risk.
  6. Professional Help: If unable to thaw the pipe or if it bursts, contact a professional plumber immediately.

Preventing Frozen Kitchen Pipes:

  1. Insulate Pipes: Use pipe insulation on pipes in unheated areas such as basements or garages.
  2. Keep Cabinet Doors Open: Allow warm air to circulate around under-sink pipes by leaving cabinet doors open.
  3. Let Faucets Drip: A slight drip can prevent water from freezing by keeping it moving.
  4. Seal Cracks and Gaps: Block cold air entry by sealing openings near kitchen pipes.
  5. Maintain Warm Temperatures: Keep your home heated consistently, even when you’re not there, to protect pipes.
  6. Insulate Key Areas: Ensure attics and crawl spaces are well insulated to maintain warmer temperatures in areas near pipes.
  7. Outdoor Hoses: Disconnect, drain, and store outdoor hoses. Shut off and drain supply lines to outdoor faucets.
  8. Use Heat Tape: For especially vulnerable pipes, consider installing heat tape or cables with thermostat control, following the manufacturer’s safety guidelines.

Mainstream is here to help with both thawing frozen pipes and implementing measures to prevent freezing. Contact us now for professional assistance to safeguard your home’s plumbing against winter’s chill.