When your pipes have frozen, thawing is a way to help prevent frozen pipe repair. When you get to the stage of repairing your pipes this usually means that your pipes have burst, which can be expensive to repair. Before the cold months of winter arrive there are things that you can do to help keep your water pipes from becoming frozen, which can include:
• Insulate the pipes in your attic and crawl space, even if it is uncommon to have freezing temperatures. The more insulation you use the more protected your pipes will be.
• To wrap pipes, especially those outside, use controlled heat cables or heat tape. If you have a mobile home, even if it is skirted, you should use this type of insulation. Make sure that the products you use are approved by organizations like Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. Check to see if they are intended for interior or exterior use before using them so they are used correctly. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
• When you know the temperatures are going to drop below freezing you should leave a trickle of cold water running in at least one of your sinks near an outside wall will help to keep your pipes from freezing.
If your pipes do become frozen make sure that you do not use a propane heater, open flame, or blowtorch to try getting them thawed. If one pipe is frozen this may mean that several are frozen so turn on the cold water, not the hot water. Even having just a trickle of water can help thaw the pipes although it may take awhile to do so. The reason that even a small trickle can help is that the water that is coming into the pipe is above freezing and will help break down the water that is frozen. If you turn on the cold water faucet and have no water coming out you will have to locate the area where they are frozen. It can be difficult to find this out so you may have to call a plumber. You can damage your pipes if you guess and apply heat to the wrong pipes.
The first step in preventing frozen pipe repair is to thaw your pipes. This can be done by using a blow dryer. While thawing the pipes you should have the cold water faucet turned on. Depending on how frozen the pipes are it can take from a few minutes to several hours to get the pipes thawed. Have someone in the house so they can tell you when the water is flowing freely out of the pipes so you can stop heating them.