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Emergency: How to Deal with Frozen Water Pipes

Don’t let frozen pipes become an emergency. Learn how to deal with frozen plumbing to keep your water running all winter long.

The problem: It’s wintertime, and you want to brew some hot tea to warm up. But when you turn on the faucet, there’s no water. Frozen pipes could be to blame.

The solution: Keep frozen pipes from becoming a costly problem by following these three simple steps:

  1. Shut off the water line. Not sure where your main shutoff is? Most are located in the basement, says veteran home inspector Nick Gromicko, founder of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
  2. Determine why the water line has frozen. Possible causes could be that your heat is off, a window has been left open in the basement, or a crack in your home’s foundation is blowing cold air onto a pipe.
  3. Conduct a leak check after water service has been restored. Water expands as it freezes. This can damage plumbing lines and cause slow leaks that can lead to rot and mold. To check for leaks, Gromicko recommends shutting off all sinks and tubs, and then checking to see if the dial on your water meter is still moving.

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