How to thaw frozen pipes safely, avoid a plumbing disaster

GRANDVIEW, MO. – Bitter cold temperatures have resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of frozen pipes around the subway in the past few days.

This left many people without water for the time being. But when we start thawing out of the freezer, the worst may not be over. While the goal for anyone with frozen pipes is to replenish the water, be careful about what you want.

When the employees showed up at Allied Concrete in Grandview on Tuesday morning, there was no water in the office.

“We knew we might have some problems because the cold weather was so long ago. We can’t heat the warehouse as well as we can, ”said Pete Furey, owner of Allied Concrete.

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But when they started thawing those frozen pipes, water soon spilled on the floor. Three pipes burst in one area so they called a plumber and may have had to hold back to get some people back to work as planned on Wednesday after the cold snap.

“Once you turn the water on, you may find another. That’s what we came across here, ”said Nick Frank of Morgan Miller Plumbing.

“It’s nerve-wracking because it’s not what you want to see when you’re gone for two weeks trying to survive,” said Furey.

Morgan Miller Plumbing said they were inundated with calls during the freezer. They respond to broken water pipes and help customers diagnose frozen ones over the phone.

“We start with how many taps, how many bathrooms? Is it your sink Is it just down your stairs “said Frank, describing the questions he asks customers.

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Once they figure out where the conduit may be frozen, customers are advised to put heat on it by either opening the cabinets and cranking the oven, or better yet, using a heater or hairdryer. Leave your faucets on to relieve pressure and know when the line is defrosting.

But once the water starts flowing, there may be more pressing tasks than the long-awaited shower or cup of tea.

“When those pipes burst, pretty soon you can tell what’s the problem, whether it’s a puddle in this room or a puddle below. You look up at the sheetrock when the plumbing is in the ceiling and you can see those water marks, ”Frank said.

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At this point, you need a plumber and you need to prevent the water from doing further damage before the plumber gets there.

You can usually find your shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space, mostly along the front wall of your home. Every tap or toilet has an individual shut-off valve. If all else fails, you should be able to find a barrier on your water meter.

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