Here’s what to do if your pipes are frozen

 Here’s what to do if your pipes are frozen

Houston area homeowners with frozen pipes are inundating local plumbers for advice and repairs as they prepare for an inevitable thaw that will restore water to their homes again.

“This morning a customer called and said that everything in the home was working except one toilet,” said Frank Wasily, plumbing supervisor at John Moore Services. “I suggested using a hair dryer on the pipe coming out of the wall and that was enough to work. It was a rare case, but it actually worked.”

News for many, though, won’t be as simple as a fix with a hot air.

Here’s advice from Wasily, as well as Vicki Mendez at Chavez Plumbing and Kelli Victorian at Village Plumbing and Air:

Open cabinet doors: To prevent damage, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors so warmer air inside can reach the walls where water pipes run from the sinks. Even if your home lost power and is chilly, the air inside your home will be warmer than the air outdoors, Victorian said. Even if a pipe has partially frozen, this can keep it from freezing completely and rupturing.

Drip, drip, drip: If your pipes are OK, keep them that way by leaving a faucet dripping in a bathtub farthest from the street to pull water through your system of pipes, Victorian said. Dripping kitchen or bathroom sink faucets can also help water move through pipes and avoid a freeze.

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