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How to unthaw frozen pipes

Thaw out a frozen pipe

Elsewhere on this blog, we have discussed the ways you can keep your pipes protected from the freezing winter temperatures. But these precautionary steps might not always be successful, as you might find yourself with pipes that have partially frozen over. If you find yourself in this situation, there are plenty of ways that you can handle the issue on your own in order to get the entire plumbing system up and running as efficiently as possible once again.

First, you will need to know how to identify if a pipe has frozen. This will be simple enough, as you can suspect that the system has frozen if you turn on a faucet and only a trickle of water comes out. A frozen pipe is likely in an area of the house where they have the least amount of protection from the elements, including against exterior walls or where the water main service enters the foundation of your home. Those places are where your search should begin.

Once you have identified the spot where the pipe has frozen, you can go to work to unthaw it as quickly as possible. What you will need to do is apply a gentle heat to the entire pipe, so you can melt the ice that has accumulated inside. You can do this by using a heating pad, an electric hair dryer, or even towels soaked in hot water. It is important that you keep the faucet open and running so the melted water can empty out and you can see if the process is successful.

If you find yourself unable to thaw out your frozen pipes, be sure to schedule an appointment with John C. Flood for our Washington, DC plumbing services.