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Thread: DIY: Safely Thawing Frozen Pipes
12-14-2003, 02:58 PM #1Household TipsGuest
DIY: Safely Thawing Frozen Pipes
<h3><a name="Anchor-Safely-43145"></a>Safely Thawing Frozen Pipes</h3>
Frozen pipes are in danger of bursting and causing a serious plumbing problem. Even if a frozen pipe is already damaged, you can save money and trouble by thawing it and turning off the water before a plumber can get there to help you. Here are some tips for safely thawing frozen pipes. Safety is a major issue, as many home fires have been started by people trying to thaw pipes with the wrong equipment.
<ul>[*]Thaw the pipes as quickly as possible after you discover they are frozen.[*]Leave the main water supply valve open. Incoming water pressure will help remove loosened ice.[*]Start at the faucet when thawing and work towards the source.[*]Use one of these six safe methods to safely thaw a pipe:
- Electric Iron This provides the most concentrated heat to thaw a pipe. You should lash the iron to the pipe with wire (never use combustible materials such as rope or string). Move the iron down the pipe as the thawing begins. CAUTION: Be careful not to touch the heated areas of the pipe.
- Hair Dryer Use an electric hair dryer to blow warm air directly on the suspected frozen area.
- Heat Lamp Use an infrared heat lamp directly on the suspected frozen area. For added efficiency, place a piece of sheet metal or aluminum foil behind the pipe while heating.
- Soldering Iron A soldering iron may be useful where an electric iron won't fit. You can lash this to the pipe in the same way you would lash an iron.
- Heating Cable Wrap a heating cable around the pipe in the suspected frozen area.
- Boiling Water Pour boiling water on the pipe after wrapping rags around the suspected frozen area. This method is slow and messy and may take many gallons of water. CAUTION: Boiling water can cause serious burns. Be extremely careful when transporting and pouring boiling water.