5 Tips to Thaw Out Frozen Pipes
We are in the midst of sub-freezing temperatures until sometime midday on Wednesday.
While we've all enjoyed watching the white wintry mix covering our yards, we don't enjoy some of the downsides of this historical cold spell.
One of those things is frozen pipes. There are a lot of elevated homes in Acadiana that have exposed pipes, and no matter how hard we try, in weather like this, they're just going to freeze up on us.
One of the earliest signs of a frozen pipe is when no water comes out of your faucet when you turn it on. First, make sure your water is still turned on and that you don't have a leak. Once that's confirmed, make sure one of your pipes has not burst.
If your pipes are frozen but none have ruptured, you have two options: 1) Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes. 2) Attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself.
The following tips are for the DYI-ers. If you attempt to thaw the frozen pipes out yourself, keep these five tips in mind:
- Keep your faucet open. Water and steam will be created during the thawing process, and your pipes need an opening to discharge this. By keeping the faucet open, it allows for moving water to run through the pipe, which will help with the thawing process.
- Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. Do this by wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, heating the area with a blow dryer or both. If you don't have either of those items, use towels soaked in hot water. This is only a temporary fix and the heating pad should not be left unattended.
- Know what not to do. Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heater, charcoal stove, or any other open flame to thaw your frozen pipes. That presents a severe fire hazard. Avoid using a space heater unless you're sure the area is clear of any flammable material.
- Continue applying heat until water flow returns to normal. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on other faucets in your home to see for any other frozen water pipes.
- Act swiftly if the frozen pipes are located inside an exterior wall. This is a serious situation and if this happens, you should call in a professional contractor, as repairs may include cutting a hole in the wall toward the inside of the house to expose those pipes to warmer air.