As a new homeowner, I can tell you that things aren't always as simple as they appear. I started thinking about it a few years ago, and I realized that there were some serious problems with our plumbing system. We had issues with drains working correctly and toilets flushing like they should, so I started focusing more heavily on understanding the basics of our plumbing system. Within a few short months the entire system was operating more fluidly because of a few changes that I made, so I wanted to create a blog all about my journey. Check out these articles to learn more about the plumbing basics.
When the temperature outside starts to drop below freezing, you may be worried about pipes freezing within your home. This is more common when you have pipes within an unheated area of your home, such as a crawl space or exterior wall. If the water is not flowing and the pipe did not burst, you can still still save the pipes and get it working again. Here is what you need to know.
Open The Faucet
Before you get to work at thawing the ice within the pipe, you want to turn on the water at faucet with a frozen water line. This will help add pressure to the pipe and assist with the thawing process.
Start Thawing At The Faucet
If possible, it is important to work your way backwards, starting at the faucet. This will help gradually relieve the pressure in the pipe caused by the ice, and make it less likely for the pipe to burst as you are thawing the ice.
If you can't start at the faucet, it's possible that everything will be fine in the end. Just realize that it is not the safest way to thaw the ice.
Heat Up The Room
Is your frozen pipe within the wall of your bathroom? If so, you can help thaw the pipe by warming up the room. Place a space heater in the room, close the door, and turn up the space heater to high. Warming the walls will help put some heat on the pipe behind the wall, which will speed up how fast it thaws.
Use A Hair Dryer and Cookie Sheet
For pipes that are exposed, it helps to put direct heat on the pipe with a hairdryer. To speed up the thawing process, you can hold a cookie sheet behind the pipe. It will help reflect the heat at the rear side of the pipe, which makes the thawing process go much faster.
If the pipe is within a crawl space, and you do not have direct access to the pipe, it will help to just force warm air from your hair dryer into the space. You would be surprised at how effective this can be at warming up an area, especially when combined with other techniques.
If you cannot get the pipe unfrozen, you'll need to contact a professional for help. A plumber can assist with thawing the pipe to get the water flowing once again.