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Dos and don'ts for frozen pipes

Plumbers give advice on frozen pipes
Posted at 9:03 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 23:03:22-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Turning on your faucet so there’s a small drip is one way to prevent frozen pipes. You can also open cabinet doors so your heater can get to the pipes.

But how can you unfreeze your pipes? Robert Cantu, the owner of Unique Service Plumbing, said you can use a blow dryer or heat gun.

“You want to start from the fixture and then kind of make your way back. You see the area that is getting frozen is the area that is exposed, so as soon as you’re able to break free from that ice, water start to free out,” Cantu said.

Cantu said you can also wrap heat tape around the frozen area and it’ll break the ice. However, Cantu says putting fire to the pipe will bust it. He said in case of a leak, you shouldn’t hold towels or cloths to the leak for too long because the water pressure can injure you. Cantu says you should know ahead of time where the city meter box is so you can shut off your water by using a crescent wrench.

“So you’ll open up that crescent wrench, put it on the knob to turn off and on the knob that’s on the city meter and use a screw driver through that hole so you can turn it to close it,” he said.

Tom Colley, the service manager of Smart Plumbing, has been a plumber for over 20 years and advises to have something on hand to unfreeze your pipes.

“Insulation, whether that be blankets or sheets, wrap your pipes,” Colley said.

Colley advises not to use an electric blanket because it might cause an electrical shortage. He says if the pipes burst, you might want to build a dam with sheets so the water can flow into a place in your house that is not so damaging.

This article was written by Andrew Christiansen for KRIS.