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Dangers of Frozen Pipes: What’s the worst that can happen?

Imagine trying to get ready to brush your teeth before work, but there’s no water coming out of the faucet. That’s the least of your worries when you have a frozen pipe, and it’s not the worst that can happen. During winter, we here at Anta Plumbing receive countless calls for frozen pipes. Homeowners are used to Toronto plumbing and how the weather affects our potable water systems, but that doesn’t make frozen pipes any less dangerous. One of the most common things that happens to a frozen pipe is the fact that it tends to burst, flooding your entire home and causing a fortune in repairs.

If losing precious belongings and having to replace floorboards, ceilings and drywall is not bad enough, consider the fact that it can also result in house fires and ultimately, death.

How does that work? Every winter, thousands of pipes become frozen across Canada, even when people take some precautions and winterize their homes. When temperatures drop, pipes contract and water freezes inside, obstructing its normal flow and resulting in no water coming out of the faucets.

When they are in a bind, homeowners will try anything to make the water flow normally again, including:

Using heated tape – This is a good idea, provided it is installed properly, preferably beforehand.

Applying hot towels – Another great idea, which does take time to yield results.

Applying open flame – This is a very bad idea.

Every year, frozen pipes result in house fires or flooding, and thousands of dollars in damages. Homeowners have died when applying blow torches to their frozen water pipes, and homes have burned to the ground. That is why we at Anta Plumbing urge you to steer away from open flame when you have frozen pipes, and to never use electrical appliances in a flooded home.

Instead, follow these guidelines when your pipes freeze:

1. Leave the faucet open. As you apply heat to the frozen pipe, and the ice starts to melt, water will start flowing through and start melting ice along the pipeline.

2. If you have a burst pipe, shut off the main water supply and leave the faucet open until the repairs have been completed. The best way to do it, is to slowly apply heat, starting from the faucet and working your way toward the coldest part of the pipe. You can use a handheld hair dryer, but do not stand in water.

3. If your home floods, turn off the electrical supply as soon as possible to prevent electrical fires when water enters the low-level outlets.

Call Anta Plumbing immediately if you need help with frozen pipes in the Greater Toronto Area. We have experience with all types of plumbing emergencies and we have seen first-hand the dangers of frozen pipes. Don’t put your family at risk. Rather let the experts thaw your pipes professionally using the right equipment. Anta Plumbing is available 24/7 and can assist with your frozen pipes.

Written by Tanya Klien

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