What (Not) to Do When You Discover Frozen Pipes

There are various home remedies and life hacks being passed around the internet for those that prefer to DIY. It is tempting at times to use these for plumbing issues around your home or business. While some of them have merit, such as using hot water to unclog a toilet without a plunger, some of them are not a good idea.

Here are some things you should (and shouldn’t!) do when you discover frozen pipes in your home or business:

Stop using the affected pipes. This includes flushing toilets. Maybe one bathroom isn’t affected and shows no signs of freezing. Double-check that it is working normally before use. If you aren’t sure, check out this article on 4 Signs of Frozen Pipes.

Do not attempt to unfreeze the ice inside the pipe with liquids, hot or otherwise. This is because putting more fluid into the pipe will also put more pressure on the pipe and your small issue of frozen pipes turns into a much bigger one; a burst pipe.

It is also not a good idea to use an open flame of any kind to thaw out any frozen pipes. There are many risks involved with having an open flame around your pipes or other areas of your home or business.

Many people try blow dryers, space heaters, and even heat lamps to attempt to thaw out their pipes. However, sometimes they are not as effective as other methods for solving the problem. One risk is that they may burn out the appliance before making a real difference in unfreezing the ice in your pipe. Another issue is that any time spent trying to unfreeze pipes with a weaker method may add up to more pressure on the pipes and a higher likelihood of the pipe bursting.

Thermostatically controlled heat tape is sometimes an effective way to thaw pipes but it generally requires that you know where the trouble spot is.

For more information about taking care of frozen drains or sewer, see our page on the topic here.

The most important thing to remember about frozen pipes is that if it isn’t a simple, easily accessible pipe to access and you aren’t knowledgeable on the issue, it is best to have an expert check it out. Contact us today for an expert to come take a look and potentially save yourself money and time in the long run.