KANSAS CITY, Mo. — We are working our way out of a historic deep freeze in Kansas City. While the worst of the impacts may be behind us, there is still the risk of pipes bursting inside of homes.
During a deep freeze, pipes can burst when water inside them freezes and expands, putting pressure on pipes walls.
That’s why plumbing professionals urge homeowner to insulate pipes, open cabinet doors, and let faucets drip during freezing weather. Even though the Kansas City area is thawing out, bursting pipes are still a concern.
If your pipe has frozen, but not burst, then it is strong enough to contain the ice. However, the pipe strength will be challenged if you don’t thaw them properly.
As pipes thaw, the water can back up behind the frozen point, causing the pressure inside the pipe to increase further, which can lead to bursting pipes.
One way you can help prevent pipes from bursting is to open your faucet as you defrost pipes. If you are able to find the frozen point in your pipes, use a hair dryer to thaw it out and watch for water to flow through the faucet.
Make sure water is flowing at normal, full capacity before you stop applying heat so your pipes don’t refreeze.
If you do try to defrost your pipes, make sure you know where your main water shut off is located. It's usually near the water meter or where the main water line enters the home. If the pipe bursts, immediately shut off the water.
If you are unable to find the frozen point or defrost your pipes, you will need to call a professional.
Remember, never use a gas-powered heater to defrost pipes. That can lead to even bigger problems.