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How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

Experiencing frozen pipes is a very common problem property owners will face as the temperatures begin to drop, and a general understanding of how to thaw frozen pipes should be in everyone’s bag of tricks.  Extended cold snaps, accompanied by strong winds, create the perfect recipe for frozen pipes. Leaving open doors and failing to address drafts as well as dropping thermostats while traveling can wreak havoc on older homes and less insulated structures.  At Mammoth Restoration, we’ve been helping our community with lightning-fast response to broken pipes for over a decade and have seen water damage leave property owners with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.  While Mammoth’s professional mitigation technicians are available to help if you do have a problem, we know it’s better for your home, business, family and coworkers to avoid the headache in the first place.  Let’s take a look at some simple steps you can take to thaw your frozen pipes.

If you’ve missed our article on “How to Prevent Frozen Pipes” (Click Here) 

 

 

Signs That Your Pipes Have Frozen.

  • Slow or no water flow from faucets within your home or business.

 

 

Our friends at Ace Hardware have put together a nice little video to help give you a visual on the process.  If you need further help thawing any frozen pipes, we suggest calling your local plumber.

 

Items You Will Need:

  • Hair Dryer
  • Extension Cord
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Space Heater

 

Step 1: Find The Source

Locating the source may be easier said than done, but tracing your pipe system backward may lead you to find an area that is exposed to the colder temperatures.

 

Step 2: Open the Faucet

Before you start to thaw the frozen pipe, you will need to open the faucet. This alleviates pressure and allows the water a place to go as the slow thaw begins.

 

Step 3: Trace the Pipe Backwards

Tracing the frozen pipe back to the source is important to make sure that you locate any water shutoffs in order to limit damage should a burst happen during the thawing process.

 

Step 4: Start The Thawing Process

For Exposed Pipes: Grab a hair dryer and a cookie sheet, or something similar, in order to reflect the heat and focus it on the pipe.  Turn the hair dryer on high heat and slowly wave it back and forth blowing hot air directly on the pipe.  Be sure to start your thawing process at a point closest to the faucet in order to avoid building up pressure within your plumbing. Continue this process tracing the pipe away from the faucet until water begins to flow normally.

For Internal Pipes: Increase the heat to the affected area by raising your thermostat and adding a space heater nearby.

 

Step 5: Allow Your Pipes to Slow Drip

Once you’ve successfully thawed the frozen pipes, your focus should be on preventing it from happening again.  Allowing your faucet to maintain a slow drip for the remainder of the cold temperatures will keep water moving within your plumbing and decrease the risk of future freezing.  (A small price to pay to avoid significant property damage.)

 

Step 6: Increase Heat or Insulation

Opening cabinet doors, blocking drafts, insulating doorways and allowing a space heater to run for the length of colder temperatures is always helpful.

 

What Not To Do

Never use a blowtorch in an attempt to thaw frozen pipes as you can do damage to your plumbing or cause a fire by igniting nearby materials.

 

Need Help with a Burst Pipe?

Mammoth Restoration’s Professional Mitigation Technicians are here to help and will be on scene fast!  Call 888-495-5211 – 24 hours a day – 365 days a year!