How To Deal With Frozen Pipes In Home

When you have frozen pipes, it’s important to take action promptly to prevent them from bursting and causing water damage. Here are the steps you can follow:

Locate the frozen pipe: Check all visible pipes, such as those under sinks, in the basement, or near exterior walls. Look for frost on the pipe or a bulging area that indicates the presence of ice.

Open faucets: Turn on the affected faucets to relieve pressure in the system. This will also allow water to flow when the pipe thaws, reducing the risk of bursting.

Apply heat to the frozen pipe: There are several methods you can use to thaw a frozen pipe so see below to learn more:

Hairdryer: Use a hairdryer on the high heat setting to warm the section of the pipe. Start from the faucet end and work your way towards the frozen area. Keep the dryer a few inches away from the pipe and move it back and forth to avoid overheating.

Heat lamp or space heater: Position a heat lamp or space heater near the frozen pipe, focusing the heat on the affected area. Make sure to follow safety instructions and keep flammable materials away from the heat source.

Electric heating pad or towels: Wrap an electric heating pad or towels soaked in hot water around the frozen pipe. Secure them with tape or rope, and keep the pad or towels in place until the pipe thaws.

Hot water: If accessible, soak towels in hot water and wrap them around the frozen pipe. You can also pour hot (not boiling) water directly onto the frozen section. Start from the faucet end and continue until the ice melts.

Heat tape: If you have heat tape, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply it to the frozen pipe. Heat tape is designed to provide a constant source of heat to prevent freezing.

Continue applying heat: Keep applying heat until water flows freely from the faucets. This indicates that the pipe has thawed. Check for any leaks or damage once the pipe is thawed.

Take preventive measures: To prevent future freezing, consider these precautions:

Insulate pipes: Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas, such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces. You can use pipe insulation sleeves or wrap the pipes with heat tape.

Seal cracks and openings: Inspect your home for any cracks or openings near pipes and seal them with caulk or insulation foam.

Keep the thermostat consistent: Maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home, especially during very cold weather. Set the thermostat to a minimum temperature at night or when you’re away, but avoid setting it too low.

Open cabinet doors: If you have pipes located inside cabinets, open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

If you’re unable to locate the frozen pipe, or if you’re uncomfortable thawing it yourself, it’s advisable to contact a licensed plumber for assistance. You may also want to search the best insurance broker near me.