How to Repair a Frozen Pipe

Are you considering remodelling a part of your home but are concerned it will not go well? Learn more about hiring the right contractor.

How to Repair a Frozen Pipe

How to Repair a Frozen Pipe

12 February 2016
Construction & Contractors, Blog

Winter brings a wide range of trials and hurdles for every homeowner. While frozen pipes might not be the first to come to mind, it is definitely one of the worst to experience. A frozen pipe can lead to flooding, which in turn can result in extensive, and expensive, damage to the surrounding walls or other pipes. Read on to learn how to locate the frozen pipe and restore it to proper working order without breaking the bank or more pipes.

Understanding the Issue

Pipes freeze when the external temperature drops low enough to cause the water passing through to turn to ice, which in turn disrupts the flow of water. The main issue is that as the water in the pipes freeze, it can expand and cause undue pressure on the pipes, regardless of their material. This can lead to cracks in the pipe, which can cause leaks or complete breaks that can cause up to hundreds of gallons of water to leak into the surrounding area. The goal with repairing a frozen pipe is to slowly and safely thaw the ice without causing any additional damage.

Locating the Problem

Begin by turning off the water running into your home or only to the affected area if possible. Examine the pipes for any obvious signs of leakage, such as dripping water or visible ice. Focus on the areas most likely to experience the issue, starting with pipes in uninsulated areas and outdoor valves before moving inside. Refrain from opening any walls until you thoroughly inspect all exposed pipes, as this can save you both effort and money.

Once you find the pipe in question, tap on it gently with a screwdriver or wrench to find the frozen spot. Listen to the sound after each tap, as the frozen area will sound more solid and feature less reverberation.

Unfreezing the Pipe

Find the faucet that connects to the frozen pipe and open it slightly to allow the water to drain out as you unfreeze it. Use a gentle, steady heat source such as a hair dryer or space heater to warm up the pipes slowly. Ensure even heating across the pipe to avoid rapid changes that can lead to ruptures. Also, avoid using excessive heat on PVC pipes, as this can lead to melting the material and result in further issue.

Other thawing methods include wrapping the pipe in thermal tape or cloths soaked in warm water. Monitor the pipe continuously during the heating process to make sure the ice is melting and the pipes are not damaged. Never use an open flame to warm the pipes. If the pipe is behind a wall, place a heater in front of the area or turn up the internal heating system for a few hours to begin the thawing.

For more information and tips, contact experienced plumbers in your area. 

About Me
Remodelling Fever: Best Advice About Construction And Contractors

Hello. I'm Kyle, and I work as a real estate valuer. Lately, I see a lot of people hopping on the renovating trend in order to sell properties at a higher price. Some people really do get it right, but I've seen some terrible remodelling jobs. The wrong renovation can actually reduce the value of a house! My family and friends always ask me for remodelling advice, and I see some common factors in successful renovations. First and foremost, those property owners choose excellent contractors. Secondly, the construction work is high quality. I started this blog so that others who have questions about construction and contractors might benefit from my knowledge. Please browse and enjoy. Thank you for visiting.