Preventing damage to your plumbing system starts with preventing pipe problems. Frozen pipes can often occur if they are not properly insulated, or are older and deteriorating. If you do experience frozen pipes, how can you thaw them? This blog will cover the steps you should take to thaw frozen pipes safely. We will also touch on how you can prevent freezing in the future.
Identify The Frozen Area
Before you can thaw frozen pipes, you need to identify what pipes are frozen or what areas you need to focus on. Typically, areas that are found in exterior walls or unheated basements are where freezing occurs. You can look for signs of frost or ice around your walls or plumbing fixtures to determine where to start thawing first.
Open Your Faucets
Once you find the affected area, you should open the faucets to release pressure. Open the faucets both upstream and downstream to allow water to flow once the ice has thawed.
Now it is time to apply the heat to the pipes, but there is a right and wrong way to do this. You can use various methods to help release ice, but using gentle methods will help you avoid damage to the pipes. Below are some options to thaw frozen pipes safely.
Using a household item can be the cheapest way to thaw frozen pipes without causing damage. Use the hair dryer on the lowest heat setting and hold it close to the frozen section. Use back-and-forth motions with the hair dryer to distribute the heat evenly.
Another homemade solution is to use hot towels. All you need to do is soak towels in hot water and then wrap them around the frozen pipe. This method will only work if you have easy access to the pipe so you can wrap the towel tightly around it. As the towels begin to cool, replace them with hot ones until the pipe is completely clear.
Electrical Heating Tape
This product was developed specifically for thawing frozen pipes to help homeowners or business owners easily remedy their frozen pipes. Heating tape should be applied in compliance with the directions on the package in order to properly thaw the section.
Gently heating the area is the best way to thaw frozen pipes without causing damage to the pipe. Infrared lamps distribute the heat more evenly and prevent deterioration. Ensure that the lamp is placed a safe distance away from any flammable materials.
Avoid Using Open Flame
Open flames can be dangerous for your home materials and your body. Using an open flame to thaw frozen pipes is not the best way to handle the situation. Using a propane torch or kerosene heater can lead to house fires or damage to the plumbing system.
If you have no other method to thaw frozen pipes than an open flame, you should work with a professional plumber to improve your system. Your pipes can be durable but are also susceptible to exterior damage. Our experts at Connect can help improve your plumbing system without causing extra damage to your home.
Watching the pipe or checking on it frequently is the best practice as you are thawing it. Monitor the progress of the flow to ensure that your home doesn’t experience water damage once the blockage clears. Turning off the water before thawing the pipe will help lower the risk of pipe bursts as well.
Insulate The Pipes For Next Year
The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to have them insulated. When the pipes are insulated or your home is kept at an appropriate temperature through the winter, the pipes are less likely to freeze. After you thaw frozen pipes, insulating them can help you avoid the problem in the future. Many professional plumbers can insulate your pipes for you, which can ensure that it is done correctly and limit the risk of pipe bursts in your space.
Plumbing Services From Connect
Piping in your home is used multiple times a day. It needs to be durable and maintained properly in order to serve your home or business. Our team is available to help improve your plumbing when you really need it. Homeowners and business owners can not predict when plumbing issues will occur, so our experts are available 24/7 to help save your system. Don’t handle plumbing emergencies on your own, work with Connect Building Services today!