Precautions to Take When Thawing Your Pipes in Minneapolis

thaw pipes

The ultimate goal is to not have your pipes freeze in the first place this winter.

Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way in your Minneapolis home.

However, while a plumber can help make sure your pipes are thawed without bursting, you can thaw your pipes on your own too. The issue is that they need to be thawed out quickly before any permanent damage can be done.

If you need to thaw out your own frozen pipes, be sure to take these precautions.

Open Your Faucets

Some mistakenly believe you only need to open a faucet so that you can tell if the pipe has thawed. However, opening your faucet plays a much more important role – it releases pressure. Pressure is the primary worry of a frozen pipe.

As ice expands in the pipe, that pressure can cause it to burst. Furthermore, the increased pressure caused by steam can have the same effect. Open your faucets to allow any and all pressure to be safely released.

Don’t Use Open Flame

It is always nice to have an excuse to break out your blowtorch, but there are a hundred different things that can go wrong when using an open flame.

First, you could light something on fire. However, mostly you need to worry about a pipe heating up too fast.

If you have standard copper pipes, this means your pipe will probably burst. While frozen pipes need to be thawed quickly, you have time to use slower methods like a space heater or even a hair dryer.

Use a CGFI Outlet

Water plus electricity is never a good mix. As thawing frozen pipes has the potential for leaks, it is best to use a grounded outlet to avoid electrocution injuries.

If water meets electricity, the outlet will trip and shut off before you get a fatal shock. Safety first in all things.

Choose One Heating Method

If you googled how to thaw a frozen pipe, the internet will regurgitate a number of different options of warm things up.

It really shouldn’t need to be said, but you should choose one of those things and not multiple.

When you choose a space heater and a hair dryer to thaw the pipe, it can create the same problem as using an open flame – it can heat the pipe too quickly. The last thing you want is your pipe to go from frozen to exploding. It is quite the expensive repair bill when that happens.

Anticipate Leaks

A broken, leaking pipe is the worst case scenario of a frozen pipe. However, when the pipe is frozen, it is difficult to tell how much damage has been done. As such, you should probably plan for leaks before starting the thawing process.

If you are thawing and notice water dripping or pooling, head to your water shut off valve before things get out of hand.

Once the water is shut off, you will need to call a professional plumber out to replace the damaged pipe. That is not really something you can easily do yourself.

Need Help? Contact SOS Sewer Today!

You know what they say: when in doubt, call a plumber. Thawing out frozen pipes is actually harder than it looks, especially if you don’t want to do any more damage.

If you have frozen pipes that need thawing, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

Not only can we help get your pipe safely thawed out, we can help advise you on what to do to make sure that pipe doesn’t become frozen again. An ounce of heat tape and insulation is worth a pound of cure, as they say.