Thawing Frozen Pipes



Thawing Frozen Pipes

Are your pipes frozen? Then it's time to take a crash course in thawing frozen water pipes. You want to thaw your frozen pipes as soon as possible to prevent frozen pipes from further bursting. Your pipes may have already cracked, depending on how long they've been frozen and what type of water pipes are present in your home. So the first thing you need to do is turn off the water supply, to prevent flooding when the pipes are completely thawed. You may have to cut the water off at the water meter if you can't find a water supply shut-off inside your home.




Next, you need to try and locate where in the pipes the water is actually frozen. You can sometimes do this by turning on faucets around the home until you find which ones work and which ones don't work. Once you've located where the frozen water pipes are you can begin to work on thawing them. If it's just a particular faucet where the water isn't running, keep that faucet open so you can measure your progress. When water starts to trickle from the faucet, you can be assured that you're making headway. If you suspect the frozen line is under a kitchen cabnet, simply opening the door and facing a space heater toward the cold pipes will sometimes thaw the frozen pipes. If you want to be aggressive about it, you can use a hair dryer on the frozen pipe. Once all of the frozen pipes are thawed, it wouldn't hurt to run hot water through all of your hot water lines to help raise the temperature behind the walls to above freezing temperatures.




If your outdoor spigot is frozen, you can usually get it thawed by pouring boiling water directly over the spigot. It may take several tries, but the frozen spigot will eventually thaw. Installing freeze proof spigots should prevent future frozen outdoor spigots. Water pipes located in insulated pump houses can usually be kept above freezing by keeping a 75W light bulb burning in the pump house during cold winter nights. Also, keeping a temperature gauge located inside your pump house will tell you with a quick glance whether or not the bulb is sufficiently heating the closed space. Keeping track of forecast temperatures in winter and being prepared for those freezing temperatures will help protect you from the dreaded task of thawing frozen pipes.

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