How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
Learn how to thaw frozen pipes using our guidelines below.
Freezing pipes are definitely bad, and burst pipes are just worse. You may be feeling confident that your plumbing system is in perfect working condition, and there is very little chance that the pipes will burst and flood your house. While it may be true that your pipes are working fine, many homeowners fail to consider the water in unprotected pipes gets frozen in the winter. The water expands when frozen, and can burst an otherwise perfectly working pipe.
Frozen pipes are bad enough but they can also lead to even bigger problems such as temporary loss of water.Our guideline below will teach you how to thaw frozen pipes to prevent them from bursting.
Detecting a Frozen Pipe
The pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing are those that are located in an exterior wall, under the sink on an outside wall and in an unheated crawlspace. If your pipe or waterline is covered in frost, or if it’s bulging, it is most likely frozen.
However, remember that not all plumbing pipes are visible in and around your home. If your turn on your faucet and only a trickle comes out or your toilets don;t refill right away after a flush, suspect a frozen pipe.
While frozen pipes can be an inconvenience, you can remedy this yourself if you know how to thaw frozen pipes.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
Here are simple steps on how to thaw frozen pipes:
- Keep open the faucet that is supplied by the frozen pipe. When you thaw the pipe, the frozen area will begin to melt and allowing the water to flow through will help melt the ice.
- Examine the pipe and check for cracks or leaks. If you find a leak, turn off the main shut off valve immediately and call your plumber to repair the pipe.
- Find the section of the pipe that contains the frozen water. You can use your hand to feel the temperature of the pipe or use an infrared thermometer. Look for parts of the pipe that are colder than the other parts. Use a hard object like a screwdriver handle to tap the pipe and find areas that sound more solid and less hallow.
- Thaw the pipe by starting in the area nearest to the tap. If you start thawing in the middle of the pipe, the melted water can get trapped and cause the pipe to burst.
- Do not use direct flame or boiling water. Using extreme sudden change in temperature can cause the pipe to burst or get damaged.
- Apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe. You can use an electric heating pad, or simply heat water on your stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap the towels around the pipe.
- Continue to apply heat until water pressure is restored.
- If you cannot located the frozen pipe, or it is in a location that is difficult to reach or access, or if you have a burst pipe, call a licensed plumber and let them handle the job.
If you are not sure how to thaw frozen pipes or need more professional help in handling pipe repairs, call Reline Drainage and our professional plumbers will be happy to assist you.