Handyman

Hot tips for frozen pipes

Updated: 2014-01-12T01:24:41Z

By ED DEL GRANDE

McClatchy-Tribune

Once we get through the holiday season, I can always count on a flurry of questions about frozen water lines. So, to start things off for the New Year, I have put together my three basic tips on how to deal with frozen pipes.

1. The best offense is a good defense: Take a look around your home (especially in the basement) for any strong drafts that may affect the water lines in that area. Seal up any openings or cracks with insulation and protect the water lines with insulated pipe sleeves. Also, keep the heat on in every area of the home during very cold weather.

2. Know when you may have a frozen pipe: Usually, you can identify a frozen water line when you notice water flowing to some fixtures, but not to others. Example: Bathroom works fine, but there is no water flowing to the kitchen faucet. If your main water line freezes up, all of your plumbing fixtures can be affected.

3. Time is of the essence: Call your plumber as soon as possible even if it requires an emergency call. A master plumber can usually trace the exact area of the freeze up and safely thaw the pipe with professional equipment. Bottom line: If you wait too long and the water line bursts, you may end up needing a huge financial bail-out.

Ed Del Grande is a master contractor plumber and author of “Ed Del Grande’s House Call.”

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