HOW TO THAW OUT A FROZEN WATER PIPE.
Thawing a frozen water pipe quickly is important. However, it is just as important to thaw the frozen pipe correctly. Doing so, will avoid a potential burst pipe and damaging flood at your property.
WHY AND HOW DO MY PIPES BURST FROM FREEZING?
When water freezes, it expands in volume by about 9 percent. And it expands with tremendous force: The pressure inside pipes may go from 40 pounds per square inch to 40,000 pounds per square inch! No pipe can hold that much pressure, so it breaks open.
THAWING THE PIPES
If the frozen pipe is located in an area you can easily access, you have several options for attempting to thaw the pipe. You should continue to apply the heat until the water escaping from the faucet returns to full strength. Here are four options for thawing an exposed pipe.
- Hair Dryer- One of the easiest ways to thaw a pipe is by using a hairdryer. Simply turn the dryer on and point the heat at the pipe, beginning with the portion closest to the faucet. As with any electrical product, take the proper precautions and avoid coming into contact with water when operating the device.
- Heat Lamp or Portable Space Heater– Another method to thaw the pipe is to use a heat lamp or portable space heater. Position the device so that the heat is able to reach the frozen pipe. This indirect heat can help to quickly thaw a pipe. Again, make sure to comply with the safety measures and precautions on the device you are using and keep the device away from water.
- Hot Towels– Another way to thaw a frozen pipe is to wrap towels that have been dipped in hot water around the pipe. This can help to slowly thaw the blockage.
- Electrical Heating Tape– A final option is to apply electrical heating tape directly to the pipe. This tape distributes heat throughout the pipe. You can purchase electrical heating tape that you plug in and unplug as needed or you can purchase heating tape that shuts off on its own.
LET THE WATER RUN
A tiny trickle from faucets protects pipes in two ways. First, it prevents pressure from building up inside pipes. Second, it creates a constant flow of water through pipes and that makes freezing much less likely.
Long-term freeze prevention is usually a major project, like insulating a crawl space, replacing standard outdoor faucets with frost-proof models or even rerouting pipes away from cold spots inside the home. Start by calling in a professional plumber to assess your situation and make recommendations.
THINGS TO AVOID
Never attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame, such as a propane torch. This can not only damage the pipe, but it can also start a fire in your property.
CALL A PROFESSIONAL
If you are unable to thaw the pipe, unable to locate the frozen pipe, do not feel comfortable thawing a pipe yourself or if a pipe bursts, you should call a professional like Sabtech. We will be able to remedy the problem for you! Call or text us at 604-596-0405.