How to Thaw Frozen Water Pipes

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Plumbing Repair Sterling VA, Water Heater Repair Sterling VA

Cold weather can trigger much damage to ones water pipes in your home we know. This past winter season particularly was a rough one for many people with having frozen water pipes. Frozen pipes can crack or rupture due to the fact that as water freezes, it expands. With enough growth, pipes will certainly establish cracks. The cracks may not be visible however they will certainly leak nonetheless when the ice melts. If a frozen area of pipeline is caught in time, there may be no damage; but it must be thawed prior to any more freezing takes place. Shielding pipes from freezing is the best plan, however if you are reading this, then that will certainly have to take a backseat to defrosting the frozen pipes. To discover how to avoid pipes freezing in the first place.Frozen Water Pipes

Caution: Please read our safety info prior to trying any testing, upkeep or repairs oneself. Some devices could rely on a cold water supply and suffer damage without it.

If there is a sluggish trickle at the faucet, leave the faucet open. The streaming water will certainly help to prevent a full frozen blockage. In addition, the streaming water may assist to melt the existing partial obstruction. Continue with the following steps to make sure the pipes thaw entirely.
Find the Frozen Piping

The initial step to thaw frozen pipes is to locate the area of pipe and shut off the regional water supply to it. To identify whether an area of pipeline is frozen, just feel it. Frozen pipeline will feel very cold, while pipeline with complimentary flowing water will certainly feel especially warmer. Look for a pipeline through which water is still flowing to utilize as a contrast. After a couple minutes of running, the pipeline ought to be around 50 degrees or so. If you have an infrared thermometer, it makes finding frozen pipes easy.

If there is no water at any of the taps in your home, the major water line may be frozen someplace between the meter and where the water line enters your house. Usually this line is buried, and buried at the in your area mandated depth to shield it from freezing. There is little to be done to thaw a buried water line. The only course of action is to rebury the line deeper, below the frost line, to make sure versus future freezes.

In severe freezes, there may be numerous frozen areas of piping in different susceptible locations. The very first indicate examine is where the water line comes out of the ground and where it enters your home. Any exposed pipeline is susceptible if it is exposed to outdoors air, even if it is in your attic, unconditioned basement or crawlspace.

Exterior walls, even when insulated, may get cold enough to freeze pipes inside the wall. Pipes that pass near an exterior vent in your home go through chillier air and are a good location to start hunting. If there is no water in only one part of your house, then the frozen pipe is probably in an exterior wall, attic, crawl space or basement.

As soon as you find the frozen area, if the pipe is accessible, examine it aesthetically and by running your fingers over the pipe to feel for cracks or splits. If you find damage, you may wish to get repair materials all set prior to thawing the piping. If the piping is not available, continue reading for strategies to take care of tough to reach pipes

Before you start the defrosting procedure, open water taps on the frozen line to permit water, steam or pressure to escape. This will certainly permit water to drain out as the ice melts and will certainly inform you if you have been successful in melting the obstruction.

How you heat the pipes depends upon the kind of pipe and the area. But in all cases begin closest the tap and work outward. Never ever heat a pipe with direct flame or boiling water. Heating a pipe too rapidly can lead to bursting, damage and injury.

How to Thaw Plastic Pipes

Available pipes can be warmed with a hair dryer. Keep the dryer moving and do not concentrate it on any one place too long.

Hot damp rags can be utilized to heat up pipes. Just immerse a rag in hot water (about 110 degrees F) and cover it around the pipe. Replace the rag when it cools.

A grounded, water resistant heating pad can be wrapped around the pipe and readied to the lowest heat setting.

How to Thaw Metal Pipes

While a flame can be utilized to heat accessible copper or steel pipes, it is not suggested to use a direct flame on any pipeline as this increases the danger of damage to the pipeline as well as presenting a fire threat. Never heat up the pipe any warmer than you can easily put up with holding the pipe bare handed and always utilize a flame spreader to diffuse the flame. Never ever utilize a flame on plastic pipe.

Do not hesitate to speak to us with concerns on handling frozen pipes or for assistance in an emergency situation.