Frozen pipes have been playing havoc on pipes since the invention of indoor plumbing. Often occurring in pipes located on the outside of your home, or in cold spots throughout, frozen pipes block water from getting around your home and increase the potential for having one burst, which can cause thousands of dollars in water damage. This is especially a problem in Peel region, as our plumbers in Mississauga have come to realize. So today, we’re going to help you thaw those frozen pipes before they burst, and provide you with solutions to make sure they don’t freeze again.
Thawing pipes is actually fairly simple, but a little dangerous, so always thaw them with care. Before you start, make sure you turn the water off for the section of pipe you are thawing. After your water is shut off, you can start the thawing process, which can come in a couple of different forms.
DIY Thawing Your Frozen Pipes
First, we highly recommend you call a professional plumber in Mississauga to thaw your frozen pipes, however if you’d like to try some things at home we have a few tips. The best way to thaw your pipes is with a space heater, heat lamp or hair dryer. Simply hold the heater close to the pipe and thaw the length of the pipe. Never tape the heat source to something or prop it up so that you can leave it as this can cause serious problems, up to and including starting a fire. Instead, especially when using a hair dryer, you’ll need to stay with the pipe until it’s thawed. Another effective way to thaw pipes is with specially made thermostatically controlled heat tape. This specially designed tape wraps around your pipes and thaws them using an electronically controlled thermostat. Best of all, it’s safe to leave on its own with regular inspections. After it’s done, you can unwrap the tape and your pipe will be completely thawed out.
Yes, thawing pipes can take a long time. It’s not exactly exciting work, sitting there with a hair dryer for what could be well over an hour, but it’s the safest method. Don’t be tempted to use propane blowtorches or other high-heat industrial equipment to thaw your pipes. You may think it’s speeding up the process, but in reality you’re only be accomplishing two things: potentially setting your house on fire and compromising the integrity of your pipes. Sure, your pipes can handle hot water inside, but they aren’t designed to sustain blowtorch levels of heat from the outside.
An Ounce Of Prevention
Once your pipes are thawed out, you should start looking at ways to prevent it from happening again. Older homes often have poor heat circulation, which can lead to frozen pipes in strange areas, so try and keep your thermostat above 20 degrees Celsius, even when you aren’t at home. If the pipe was under a cabinet, keep the cabinet open during cold spells to make sure heat is circulating to where the pipe is located. Finally, pipes on the outside of your home may benefit from fibreglass insulation, which can keep them warm year-round.
Frozen pipes can be frustrating, but the fix and prevention is surprisingly simple. If you’re feeling confident in doing this process yourself simply follow these instructions and your pipes will be thawed in no time, and then you can stop it from happening again. But be aware, frozen pipes can be an indicator of larger problems, so always call a plumbing professional after your pipes have frozen for a proper inspection. That way, you can find out if there’s something more you can do to keep the water in your home where it’s supposed to be, and in liquid form.