How Do You Fix a Frozen Pipe Fast?

icicles on a yellow pipe

How Do You Fix a Frozen Pipe Fast?

Winter is on its way, and in some parts of the country, it has already arrived, freezing water pipes and all. Can frozen water pipes be repaired? In most cases, when addressed early on, yes, frozen pipe repairs are possible. Typically, you won’t know you need pipe repairs until they thaw. We’re here to teach the basics of frozen pipe repair in Lewis Center, OH.

How do you unfreeze pipes quickly?

If you turn on the bathroom faucet, the kitchen faucet, or start the washing machine and no water comes out, they’re probably frozen inside the pipes. Here are some steps most plumbers recommend to thaw a frozen pipe. Repairs that are needed are going to be immediately noticed: 

  • Turn the faucet on and keep it open. This will minimize pressure building up as the water thaws and busts the pipes if they aren’t already.
  • Apply heat to the area of the frozen pipe with your hair dryer. Another method to thaw a frozen pipe is to wrap it with thermostatically controlled heat tape. NEVER use any type of open flame like a propane torch due to possible fire risk.
  • Continue applying heat until the pipe is thoroughly thawed and water is freely flowing. If water starts coming out of the pipe itself, turn the water off at the water main. 
  • Take time to check all of the other faucets and pipes to ensure there aren’t more possible frozen pipe repairs needed. 

If none of the thawing works, or you have extensive damage, contact a plumber for frozen pipe repair services. They can inspect other aspects like the water heater that could be frozen as well. 

What do plumbers use to unfreeze pipes?

If you decide to call a plumber for help for unfreezing your pipes, they’ll be on-site to inspect all the plumber and assess what may be needed.  Most professional plumbers will use a heat gun to thaw the frozen pipes. Repairing them will be done immediately after shutting the water off at the main. 

By hiring a plumber for this job, they will be able to identify the immediate problem and know what other possible problems will need attention. This includes the water pipes to the washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, outside spigots, and water heater. They will inspect the underside of the house as well to make sure the drain pipes haven’t busted.

What is the best way to fix a frozen drain pipe?

If you notice that water isn’t flowing out of the faucet, chances are you have a frozen drain pipe too. If you pour water into the shower or sink drain and it doesn’t drain, you have a frozen drain line. Taking the following steps will thaw the pipe, but you’ll still need to check under the house to make sure it is busted. 

  • Pour a generous amount of boiling water with a cup of salt into the drain. The salt will break down the ice, like on the roadways. Let the salt completely dissolve before pouring the mixture into the drain. 
  • While you’re waiting for the water to come to a boil, pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain. For this to be effective, make sure the baking soda gets into the drain.
  • Next, immediately pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain pipe. Just as we’ve recommended a combination of baking soda and white vinegar to clear clogs, the same is true with frozen pipes and will clear any clogs that form as the pipes start freezing.
  • Now pour that boiling water slowly. This melts the frost, allowing the baking soda/vinegar to penetrate deeper into the frozen drain. Do this step slowly for the best results. 
  • Once the water pipe thaws and water is flowing from the faucet, run hot water for 10 minutes. 

Because most drain pipes are under the house, if you’re not able to access the underside of your house, have a plumber come to inspect and assess your situation. It is better to pay a plumber for a short time of service than to have a drain leaking under your home months later.

Will homeowner’s insurance pay for frozen pipe repairs?

Most homeowner’s insurance policies will pay for any water damage caused by the frozen pipe thawing.  They will typically not pay for any frozen pipe repairs or replacement though. Every policy is different, it is wise to check with your agent to confirm what coverage your policy includes.

In Closing

You’re probably asking if frozen pipes thaw on their own. Well, yes, they will, but depending on the weather, not until the temperature gets above and stays above the freezing mark. This could be a couple of days or a few weeks, and here in the Norristown, Pennsylvania area, you can expect it to be weeks. 

If you ignore or don’t notice a leak that happened when you didn’t get the frozen pipe repaired, you’re putting your home at risk for even more damage to your home. From a weakened foundation, the form of mildew and mold, not to mention the cost of a water leak. 

Meanwhile, if you need frozen pipe repair in Lewis Center, OH you can count on our team to provide the help you need. Call 614-681-8870 to learn more or schedule your services.