When the pipes in your home freeze up, you don’t have water flowing through your faucets. And that’s only part of why it’s so important to do what you can to prevent pipes from freezing. The freezing and thawing of water in the pipes causes excess pressure that may force your pipes to burst, meaning your home gets flooded as they thaw.
Don’t take this chance. Follow our advice for thawing out a frozen pipe, and then take the steps to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place.
There is a right way and a wrong way to apply heat to your pipes to thaw them out. You should never use an open flame on frozen pipes as it can be extremely dangerous. In addition, it’s not a good idea to apply heat so quickly, since the thawing phase is when water will gush through any cracks in the pipe. Do not use a blow torch, kerosene heater, etc.
First, we recommend shutting off the water, or at least a valve that leads to that section of pipe. This is just in case there is a hole in your pipe. You should also arm yourself with a mop, towels, and other cleaning supplies. Then, apply heat.
- Locate the frozen pipe by looking for frost or an area of piping that is bulging.
- Apply heat using a hair dryer or a portable heater—just don’t leave the portable heater on unsupervised.
- You can also wrap heat tape around the pipe, which you can find from a local hardware store.
- Leave the heat on in your home and make sure that it is able to reach that section of pipe.
- Ask a plumber about moving pipes, or take steps to insulate the pipes to prevent them from freezing in the future.
Contact Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. for plumbing service and more in Union, NJ.