House Plumb Cold? 4 Tips for Thawing Frozen Pipes

Written by  //  March 5, 2019  //  Plumbing  //  Comments Off on House Plumb Cold? 4 Tips for Thawing Frozen Pipes

frozen pipes

If a home is not properly insulated, the chance of a cold snap of freezing weather resulting in frozen pipes is high. When a pipe freezes, the water within expands and can cause cracks along the joints of the water system, which results in a leak when the ice thaws and returns to its liquid state. Obviously, you want to avoid this scenario, and the quicker you thaw the pipe the less likely it will burst on you. With that in mind, here are four tips for thawing frozen pipes.

Make sure faucets are let open

The first step may not assist in the thawing of the pipe, but will help in limiting the chances of a buildup of pressure within. Opening both the hot and cold faucets is the first action to take because the pressure within the pipe will begin to build at the point of freezing. During the thawing process, pressure can continue to build as the frozen pipe is heated and returned to a liquid state.

Work backward from the faucet

When trying to thaw a frozen pipe, the best option is to begin the process as close to the faucet as possible. Releasing as much pressure through thawing is important as any water should be pushed out of the pipe quickly and efficiently. Pressure is the top cause of a burst pipe during freezing conditions and can be avoided by releasing any pressure as quickly as possible as thawing takes place.

Choose the correct equipment

If you are looking to thaw a frozen exposed pipe, one of the best options is to use a hairdryer pointed directly at the pipe as close to the faucet as possible. The use of a hair dryer allows the pipe to be defrosted quickly and without any physical contact with what could be a brittle, pressure-filled pipe. The second option is the use of a space heater, which should be positioned close enough for the heat to reach the pipe.

If a pipe is hidden within a wall, a good option to take is to turn up the temperature within a property and try to thaw pipes slowly. Another option is to cut out a section of wall where the pipe is frozen and then use a hairdryer to complete the thawing process.

Follow all safety precautions

Thawing a pipe can be a dangerous thing to do due to the risk of a pipe bursting or fire breaking out. When using electrical equipment make sure it is positioned far from any leaks or pooling water to keep the individual and the property safe.

The thawing process is where a pipe may burst and leak in a property so should be completed with care and efficiency. If a pipe bursts, the best option is to call an emergency plumber and let a trained professional handle any repairs.

image credit: Pixabay

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