Water Insights, Plumbing Insights

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

Got frozen pipes? Don’t lick it to find out – no matter what your brother tells you. 

How to Tell if Your Pipes are Frozen

No water coming out of the faucet? Check that your water is still turned on at the main valve. Then check for leaks. If that seems ok, you probably have frozen pipes that haven’t burst – yet. 

At this point there are two things you can do:

  1. Call a plumber to help thaw your frozen pipes. This is the better choice if you don’t think you can safely thaw the pipes yourself or if you don’t know where the frozen pipes are or you can’t access the frozen area.

NOTE: If the frozen pipe is located inside an exterior wall you should call a plumber. The repairs may involve cutting a hole in the wall toward the inside of the house to expose those pipes to warmer air.

  1. Attempt to thaw the frozen pipes yourself. Be aware this option can be dangerous if not done correctly.  

Call Hedlund Plumbing: (800) 433-5863

Pro tip: Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see what your coverage is for damage caused by frozen and burst pipes. 

How to Fix Frozen Pipes

Here are some tips and things to keep in mind if you are doing to try to thaw your frozen pipes yourself:

Keep your faucet open. Turn the faucet on, even if no water is coming out. As you thaw the pipes, water and steam will need a place to go. By keeping the faucet open water can run through the pipe, which will speed up the thawing process.

Apply heat to the section of the pipe that is frozen. This can be done in several ways:

  • Wrap an electronic heating pad around the pipe. Do NOT leave unattended. 
  • Heating the area with a hairdryer 
  • Wrap the pipe with towels soaked in hot water.

Don’t Do These Things to Thaw Pipe

 Never EVER do the following things to thaw frozen pipes. You could start a fire, an explosion, and cause harm to yourself and your family members. 

  • Never use a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, a charcoal stove, or any other open flame device to thaw your frozen pipes. 
  • Never use a space heater unless you are sure the area is clear of any flammable material. Again, never leave the space heater unattended.
  • Do not continue applying heat once the water flow returns to normal. 

Two More Tips About Thawing Frozen Pipes

  1. Once you have successfully thawed the pipe, turn on the other faucets in your home to check for any more frozen water pipes.
  2. If you have areas or rooms in your home that don’t get used very often (third bathroom) be sure to turn the water in there once in a while. Flush the toilette. Turn the shower on. This can prevent freezing pipes. 

Call Hedlund Plumbing: (800) 433-5863

About Hedlund Plumbing

The solution to all your plumbing repair, installation, and maintenance needs. Our local Lansing plumbers are fully licensed and insured professionals. We arrive on time in a marked van ready to go with the tools and materials to complete the job. Our commitment to our customers is why we are considered by many to be the top Lansing plumber.

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