How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you turned on the water this morning and only got a trickle coming out of your faucet, you’ve probably got frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands. Pipes are not meant to expand and contract very much, so it’s very easy for a frozen pipe to turn into a cracked pipe. Thaw pipes carefully and slowly to minimize the chance of pipes bursting. Follow these steps to learn how to thaw frozen pipes safely.
Step By Step Instructions to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- Leave the faucet on, even if nothing is coming out. As you thaw the pipe, water will begin the flow. That flowing water will aid in the thawing process, so you want the faucet to run until you are finished thawing the pipe.
- Look for the frozen pipe. It is most likely located along an exterior wall or where your pipes enter your home through the foundation.
- Check the furnace to make sure it is still working and is properly heating the room where the frozen pipe is located. Some houses (especially older, larger farm houses or older large homes) have two furnaces – a main furnace and a supplemental furnace. The pilot light on the supplemental furnace may have gone out, resulting in a freezing cold basement and causing frozen pipes. If the pilot light it out, light it and let the room heat up. This may cause the pipes to thaw out gently and safely.
- If the problem isn’t a dead furnace, you will need to thaw the frozen pipe yourself. Apply low heat to the frozen section of pipe. You can use an electric heating pad set on low, a hair dryer set on low heat, or towels that have been soaked with hot water. Whatever you do, do not use any sort of open flame device. This included blowtorches, kerosene heaters, propane heaters or a charcoal stove.
- Keep a low temperature, steady heat source going on the frozen pipe until water is flowing through the faucet at a normal rate.
- If you cannot find the frozen pipe or cannot get the pipe to thaw, call a plumber for help.
- Make sure to check all the faucets in your home. If one pipe is frozen, it’s very likely that another pipe is also frozen.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
You will want to prevent future frozen pipes by taking the appropriate steps. You can learn about insulating pipes here. If you have a well, learn how to prevent your well from freezing by reading here.
Let ER Services Help You Thaw Frozen Pipes or Repair Burst Pipes
All too often frozen pipes result in burst or cracked pipes. In many cases, the cracks are small or located under concrete or in the wall or ground. We have top of the line leak detection equipment that will determine if you’ve got a cracked pipe somewhere in the house. Fixing a cracked pipe will save you money and prevent costly water damage to your home.
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E.R. Services is open 24/7, 365 days a year. You don’t need to take time off work or wait until the morning because we never charge extra for nights or weekends. If you need help thawing pipes, repairing cracked pipes, or checking for leaky pipes, just give us a call at 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form.
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Quick question & answer: How do I thaw frozen pipes?
You can thaw frozen pipes by leaving the faucet on, even if nothing is coming out. Then, look for the frozen pipe. Check the furnace to make sure it’s still working and properly heating the room with the frozen pipe. If the furnace is fine, thaw the pipe yourself by applying low heat to it. Continue until water flows steadily.