Top How-to Questions During a Hard Freeze: Pipes, Water Heaters, Tankless Heaters

Posted on: February 19, 2021
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Press Releases

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Below are some of the most common Plumbing FAQ’s following a hard-freeze.

Due to overwhelming call volume, these DIY tips can help you right away until a licensed plumber can get to your home for a full evaluation and fix. You should always refer to your manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions, photos and tips. Your safety is our number one concern. If you’re not sure, don’t attempt it without the supervision of a professional, licensed plumber.

Make sure you only hire licensed plumbers.

How to Defrost a Frozen Tankless Water Heater

With quick action, you can avoid damage and leaks if your tankless water freezes. Follow these steps and call ABACUS immediately at 713-766-3605

  1. Do not try to operate the water heater.
  2. Turn off the electricity to your water heater and gas supply line.
  3. Locate the two supply lines at the bottom of your tankless water heater. 
  4. Turn the blue handle 90 degrees clockwise to shut off the water supply.

The key for tank water heaters is to make sure every component is tuned upbefore a winter storm. If you’re preparing for a freeze, you should drain your water heater by following these steps:

  1. Turn off the cold-water supply and the gas or electric supply line at the top of the heater.
  2. Turn off the temperature control located behind the control panel.
  3. Shut off the electricity running to your water heater.
  4. Place a container or bucket under the drain valve.
  5. Open the drain valve and let the water drain out. 

How to Handle Frozen Pipes

  • DON’T: Put antifreeze down your drains. Many types are toxic and will corrode your plumbing. 
  • DON’T: Use propane, kerosene, or blowtorches to reheat the pipes.
  • DO: Leave your shower and sink faucets continually running with a small stream of water. Both hot and cold faucets will keep water flowing throughout all pipes.
  • DO: Use a space heater, blow dryer, or heating pad to thaw pipes and keep flammable objects away from the heat.
  • DO: Turn off the main water valve if your pipes freeze. 

How to Locate Your Main Water Shut Off Valve

The location of your water shut-off is essential knowledge as a homeowner. Still, if you’ve never had to use it, then the detail might have fallen off your priority list. 

Homes with basements or crawl spaces usually have the shut-off valve inside at the front of the home. If your home is on a slab, your main valve is likely to be near your water heater or in your garage. 

Another possible location is in a water meter box near your street. You’ll need a water meter key to open the box. Once opened, turn the handle 90 degrees clockwise to shut off your water. If you have trouble locating your water shut-off valve, don’t hesitate to call ABACUS at 713-766-3605

ABACUS can take care of your most dire situations. We have your plumbing covered rain, snow, or shine. Call us today at 713-766-3605 or schedule your appointment online »

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