Rental Homes and Frozen Pipes

Contributing Writer, B2R Finance | Contractors,Landlords,Real Estate,Renters

While some cities are recovering from the polar vortex of 2014, many remain below freezing during this nationwide chill. Hopefully you’ve taken the necessary steps to winterize your rental home properties, but this extreme cold may be wrecking unexpected havoc even for the most prepared. The first sign of a frozen pipe is reduced or zero flow out of a plumbing fixture like the faucet or shower. A frozen pipe will not always crack or burst, so thawing it out slowly is your best bet. Below are some DO’s and DON’Ts:

  • DO: Turn off the “Main” water valve to the house and leave the faucets open
  • DO: Let the heat within the house get to the pipes by opening cabinets or crawl space doors
  • DO: Have plenty of patience. Heat and time are the best two ways to get the pipes to thaw
  • DON’T: Use any open flame to attempt to thaw pipes
  • DON’T: Use any electric heater or hair dryer directly to the pipe as any leaking water can cause an electrocution hazard
  • DON’T:  Call a plumber out only to thaw pipes as it’s very expensive and time consuming

If possible, use two people to test whether the pipe has thawed. One person should turn on the water main valve slowly and the other should be walking around the house to see if all the faucets are running and to make sure no water is leaking from any cracked pipes.

If you do spot a burst pipe, turn off the main water valve immediately. Shut all faucets and then open only the lowest hot and cold faucets in your home. That will drain the water from your home and the burst pipe wont spray water everywhere. Then is time to call a plumber. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @B2RFinance.

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