Winter Pipe Dilemma: How to Fix a Frozen Water Pipe
With winter weather steadily approaching, one major concern of homeowners is the possibility of frozen water pipes. Frozen water pipes can be really inconvenient, but they can also do very expensive damage to your home’s plumbing. If you notice that your water is not running very well, or even at all, you may have a frozen pope. Here are some ways you may be able to repair the pipe yourself:
Find the Pipe that is Frozen
One of the first things you need to do is to locate the section of pipe that has frozen. If you only have one faucet that is not running water, then you only have to worry about that one section of water pipe. The frozen area in the pipe may be located in one spot, particularly in areas of your home that are cold like in basements or in crawlspaces. Frozen areas may also be near an outside wall.
Defrost the Frozen Pipe if it is Accessible
After you have found the frozen area, you may want to try to defrost it yourself. The ability to do this will largely depend on the location. If the frozen section is indoors, you can try to defrost it by pointing a hair dryer at the affected section. You could also simply raise the heat level in that particular room. However, sometimes the frozen sections of pipe are outside the house. This can make defrosting the pipe a little more difficult. In that case, you can wrap the exposed pipe in heated towels to allow it to gradually defrost.
If the Pipe is Not Accessible, You May Just Have to Wait
Often frozen pipes are in really hard spaces to get to, such as in the ceiling or in walls. If this is the case, you may just have to wait and allow the pipe to defrost on its own. As the temperature gradually rises in your home, the pipe should eventually thaw out. To expedite the process, try raising the heat in the home significantly to see if the pipe will defrost.
To keep your pipes from freezing in the first place, you should take some preventative measures. When you are expecting freezing temperatures, make sure your pipes are well wrapped with insulated padding. Also, leave a few of your faucets dripping. This will allow the water to continually flow, preventing from freezing in the pipes. If your water pipe ultimately bursts due to being frozen, you need to contact a plumber immediately.