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The freeze is here, now what? Your questions answered.

My pipes are frozen, what do I do now?

  1. If you want to be sure to avoid major issues the safest thing to do is to turn off the water to your home, either at the water riser going into your home or at the street (city meter). This will ensure that when things begin to thaw, the water won’t be constantly flowing if you have a leak.
  2. Keep your interior cabinets open
  3. Turn faucets to the on position so water might just trickle out, you can choose hot or cold but we usually go with hot.
    • The best faucet to turn on is a bathtub that is located the farthest from the street.
    • The reason for choosing a bathtub is when things do start moving the bathtub will take much longer to overflow than a small sink.
    • Choosing the farthest from the road also means it travels the longest distance across your home and should ensure water is flowing everywhere.
  4. If you think you know which pipes are frozen, you can try to use a hair dryer or heating pad to thaw and get things moving again.
    • DO NOT put boiling water on your pipes, this can cause them to burst.
  5. Once things start to thaw, inspect your home for any signs of leaks.
    • Start from the outside of your home checking the hose bibs, water risers, back flow devices, then move to the inside and check under cabinets and visible water lines near your water heater.

I know I have a burst pipe, but it’s still frozen, what do I do now?

  1. Shut the water off at the water riser outside of your home. Usually you will see the pipe going into the side of your home.
  2. If you cannot find the water riser outside of your home, you will need to find the meter to your home and shut it off there. Generally this is in a small box / hole near the street.
  3. Keep your cabinets open, this is still helpful to prevent additional pipes from freezing.
  4. Once the temperatures are above freezing (32 degrees) things should start to thaw. Call your licensed plumber at Village Plumbing & Air to come assess your plumbing systems and burst pipe.

My power was out, but now it’s back on and the but pilot light on my water heater is not lit. What can I do?

  1. Instructions to re-light are on the outside of your water heater. If you are comfortable, you can follow the instructions to get it re-lit or you could call a neighbor.
  2. Water heaters that are up to code cannot be manually re-lit with a lighter anymore, so if the instructions are missing from the outside of your water heater call your licensed professionals when the weather clears.

I have no running water but need to flush the toilet. What do I do?

  1. Find a 1-2 gallon bucket and fill it with any water you can find (ask a neighbor, find a stream nearby, melt some snow if you can).
    • Most toilets will only require 1-2 gallons of water, if you have an older toilet it could require a bit more.
  2. Dump the water into the toilet bowl from a distance of about 3 feet above the bowl. 
  3. The gravity and force of the water should make the toilet naturally flush.
    • This should work for most areas in Houston. This method may not work if your electricity is also out and you have well water or a pump that requires electricity to flush.

As always, we are here to help. You can book virtual appointments online or set a regular, in person appointment and we will head over as soon as the weather permits. Call 713-526-1491 with any questions you may have.

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