Using Heat on Frozen Pipes – Cautionary Tales from the Pipe Surgeon

The Pipe Surgeon recommends taking as many precautions as possible to avoid frozen pipes. It may sound like a no-brainer, but there’s really no such thing as being too prepared for inclement weather when it comes to your home’s plumbing. Unhooking any outdoor hoses, running the water when the temperature is below freezing, turning water off when you’re out of town, and insulating pipes should all be part of your Winter plumbing routine.

The Pipe Surgeon

Of course, there are times when either a lack of preparation or ungodly low temps and wind chills result in the unfortunate event of frozen pipes. The obvious solution would be to heat up the pipes to get the water moving again but even this is a very delicate endeavor and one that should be handled with care and caution.

  1. Be Gradual – you want the water flow of your pipes to slowly come back to operation not all at once where a surge could occur.
  2. Use Light Heat – part of being gradual involves using light heat from something like a hair dryer. Putting a space heater near the pipes can thaw them too fast.
  3. Turn off the Water – this is something that should have been done as the cold weather was approaching but still needs to be done now. You don’t want excess pressure in the system.
  4. Unplug Outdoor Hoses – believe it or not your garden hose could be the source of your frozen pipes as it creates an unsafe pressurization in cold conditions. Unhook it all Winter and especially when thawing.

When all else fails, the first solution is usually the best. Call the Pipe Surgeon to avoid any risk of further damage from the big thaw.

 

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Author: The Pipe Surgeon

The Pipe Surgeon is an experienced main drain plumbing maintenance and service contractor. The main plumbing line into the house serves as a source of water but also acts to cycle out used, gray water. We inspect this drain line and make sure it is free of blockages while also ensuring the pipes and fixtures are sound and in excellent working condition.