Guide to Thawing Frozen Pipes Safely and Quickly

Freeze damage evident in a pipe

In severe winters, your pipes will freeze and thawing is a good way to avoid costly frozen pipeline repairs. It is a good idea to thaw the frozen pipes and not wait for it to get harder and burst. If this happens, you must repair or replace the pipeline, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Frozen pipes are common in Utah during the cold months, so it is best to take a few steps before the winter sets in. These steps will slow down the process of freezing and save you a lot of trouble. All Hours Plumbing and HVAC rounds up some of the things you should do before hiring a plumber or while waiting for the plumber to arrive.

Insulate and wrap the pipes

It is a good idea to insulate the pipes in your crawl space and attic. This will prevent freezing and protect the pipes. You can also wrap the pipes that are outside using controlled heat tapes and heat cables. This type of insulation will be great if you have a skirted mobile home as well.

Another method is to allow a trickle of cold water to run from a pipe, close to an outer wall, when you realize that the temperature is going to go below freezing point. This will ensure that your pipes do not freeze.

How to thaw frozen pipes

If the pipes still freeze after all the precautions, you can thaw them with a little effort. Do not use open flame or a propane heater to thaw the pipes. If one pipe is frozen, it means several others are frozen too. So, it is best to open the cold water and not the hot water pipes. A small trickle of cold water can thaw the pipes, although it might take some time. This method will work as the new water coming into the pipe is above freezing point and can help thaw the frozen water.

In some cases, a blow dryer might help. If there is no thawing after all your efforts, call a plumber immediately. You cannot guess where the pipes are frozen and randomly apply heat, as this will damage the pipes.

You can keep your pipes from bursting during winter if you know what to do. Keep the phone number of a reliable plumber in your contact list, so you can call for help right away.