A major wintertime plumbing headache is that of frozen pipes. It can be an extremely dangerous thing especially if your pipes burst. All the water could leak and cause a serious malfunction.
That is why it is vital to know how to deal with frozen pipes. But before you think of thawing your frozen pipes, you will have to locate them.
To locate a frozen pipe, first, you have to turn the faucets a little so that they start flowing. Where the water does not flow is most likely frozen.
Also, water tends to expand when it is frozen. So there may be a visible bulge in the region of the frozen pipe.
Another obvious method could be comparing the temperature of the pipes touching them by hand. If one pipe is frozen, more are likely frozen too.
First and foremost, you will have to open the faucet both at the hot and cold ends as it helps to relieve the pressure a little and will also tell you when your efforts become successful.
In terms of starting the defrosting procedure, always go from the faucet to the blockage since it gives a safe passage for the water to escape.
In terms of things to avoid, always avoid a direct flame because it can obviously be a fire hazard and there are better safe options available.
Let us look at a few of them.
A great method of defrosting frozen pipes is by using a blow dryer. Start from the faucet and try to observe all the precautions that are imperative while using an electrical appliance. This should prove to be an inexpensive yet useful solution.
This one is another electrical device which can be used to thaw your frozen pipe. Keep it close to the blockage and try to observe all the precautions as before.
You can also use hot towels to thaw your frozen pipe. Simply soak these towels in hot water and then wrap them along the exterior of the pipe. Now this method only works if the pipe is exposed and not so much if it is in a wall.
If you know where in the enclosed portion the frozen pipe is located, you can use an infrared lamp to melt the frozen pipe. The indirect heat from the infrared lamp could prove to be helpful in getting the water to flow.
Another way of defrosting hidden pipes is by turning up the heat in the property. This may be another obvious method but something that may still be effective.
If you do not feel comfortable doing all this or do not want to take any risk, you can always call a professional plumber to take care of this for you. All the thawing can be risky when done the wrong way as the pipes can often burst leaking the contents and making it an even more difficult thing to control. Click here to search for a plumber near you.