What to do when the water pipes and counters are frozen

Low temperatures and night frost can damage the water pipes and meters, even in the domestic environment. But it is enough to take a few simple measures so that the frost does not cause damage.

To protect the counter from freezing it is recommended to use insulating materials with which to wind it, the most suitable are polystyrene and polyurethane foam. Absolutely not recommended the use of newspapers or cloths in cloth: in case of absorption of water and humidity, they would only make the situation worse. The problem can be solved with an insulated meter.

Obviously, the pipes must also be protected from the cold. It is unlikely that frost will affect them if the house is inhabited and the water continuously used. But in case of freezing frost, or a few days away, the advice is to open a stream of running water, so that the water in constant movement avoids the formation of ice.

Prevention is better than cure, but in exceptional frost it may not be enough. If by opening the tap we don’t notice water coming there can be two explanations. If a pipe has broken due to frost and the water is leaking before reaching the tap, you must immediately close the main valve and call a plumber.

If, on the other hand, the water is frozen inside the pipes and constitutes a plug for circulation inside the water system, it is necessary to heat the external part (meter and pipes) using a jet of hot air, for example with a hairdryer : it takes some time, but you avoid thermal shocks that could damage the pipes themselves. The alternative is to wet the croaked section of the tube with boiling water, perhaps after having wrapped it with rags. It is never prudent to use open flames for defrosting, rather there are heating cables on the market, usually used by professionals: it is an electrical resistance covered by a plastic sheath that is wound in a spiral around the tube and subsequently connected to the eletricity grid. The advantage of the heating cables consists in the fact that they can also be applied to plastic pipes and not only metal.