How To Safely Thaw Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are not only inconvenient; they can end up being very costly if they burst. You’ll have the cost of replacing the pipes and of any water damage caused by flooding. Because of these issues, it is a good idea to learn what to do if your pipes freeze so you can thaw them before they burst.

How To Deal With a Pipe That Bursts

If you discover that a pipe has burst in your home, you need to address the issue quickly to prevent even more damage. As soon as you discover a burst pipe, you should turn off the water as soon as you can. Shutting off the water can help limit flooding. It is also best to shut off any power to the affected area for safety reasons. Once you’ve taken these steps, you will likely want to call a plumber to replace or repair any problems the freezing may have caused.

You should also mop up any water and dry the area as much as possible to avoid mold occurring. If there was a lot of water or your carpeting or walls were affected, you might also consider contacting a water damage restoration service.

Steps for Unfreezing Pipes

If you find the pipes in your home have frozen, you could call a plumber. Or, you might be able to handle the situation on your own if you want to try to unfreeze the pipes yourself. Here are some steps you can take to thaw a frozen pipe.

Turn the Faucet On

You should turn on the faucet and let it run even if it only drips to help keep the pipe from bursting. If a pipe has frozen, there will be a lot of pressure built up between the faucet and the area of the pipe that is blocked with ice. Having your faucet running can help relieve this pressure and make the pipe less likely to burst.

Slowly Heat the Frozen Area

One common way to heat a frozen pipe is using a blow dryer to slowly heat the frozen area. Another option would be to wrap the pipe in thermostatically controlled heat tape. You should not use a propane torch as it could damage the pipe or cause a fire.

For those who choose to use a hair dryer, it is best to start by directing the warm air on the area of the pipe closest to the faucet and then slowly move until you get to the coldest section. Make sure you keep the faucet running. Also, remember to turn off the blow dryer and let it cool a bit if it seems to be overheating.

Be sure to continue slowly heating the pipe even after you notice the water pressure increasing. You should continue heating the pipe until you have full water pressure. Then, once you have full water pressure and stop heating the pipe, let the water run for a bit to allow any ice to clear out of the pipe.

Check Your Other Faucets

If you have one frozen pipe, it is quite possible you may have other frozen pipes. So, it would be a good idea to check all your faucets. This will allow you to deal with the frozen pipes quickly to avoid having them burst.

Final Thoughts

A frozen pipe can be very inconvenient and even cause damage to your home if not dealt with quickly. So, if you find you have a frozen pipe, try using the method in this article or call a plumber. But whatever you choose to do, it’s best to act quickly before the pipe has a chance to burst.

Contact Us

If you have a frozen or burst pipe, call J Griffin Heating & Plumbing. Our professional team of plumbers has more than three decades of experience with heating and plumbing services. Call us at 781-520-1212 and connect with us on Facebook.