Three Ways to Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe
Cold months are notorious for a spike in incidents of frozen water pipes. This problem normally worsens at night when people are asleep and water stands still within pipes, creating chance for the low temperature to cause that water to freeze. If you ever have this problem in your home, use the following approaches before you call your emergency plumber:
1. Use Hot Water
Wrap rags around the frozen pipe then pour hot water on the rags so that they hold that hot water. This will gradually melt the ice in the pipe and the pipe will thaw. Ensure that you use half-boiled water in case the water pipe you are thawing is made from plastic. This precaution is necessary to avoid damage to the pipe.
2. Use a Hairdryer
Another way to thaw a frozen water pipe is to get your hairdryer and focus it on the sections of the pipe that are frozen. You can tell that a particular part of a pipe is frozen by observing whether it has a high level of condensation on the outer part of the pipe.
Some pipes (such as plastic ones) can even swell slightly in case the ice inside had expanded to a level that nearly caused the pipe to burst. The hot air from the hairdryer will melt the frozen water and it will begin to flow out through the faucet.
3. Use a Space Heater
A space heater is a device that can be used to heat a limited area in a room. This device can be battery powdered or it can be connected to your power mains. If you have one in your home, use it to thaw the frozen water pipe. Carry the space heater to the place where there is a frozen water pipe (such as the outer wall of your kitchen). Focus the space heater on the area around the pipe and the pipe will gradually thaw, melting the frozen water inside it. You will know that the pipe has thawed when you see water beginning to flow out of the faucet.
The three methods above may be sufficient to thaw your water pipe and get the water flowing once again. In case you try them and fail to get positive results, call a plumber to solve the problem for you. He or she will also inspect the frozen pipe for leaks and fix them so that your home is safe from water damage.