Water in pipes can freeze due to power loss during frost, improper pipe winding, or a malfunctioning thermostat that lowers the temperature of the house. Frozen pipes may cause your faucet to not work. But more importantly, frozen water can lead to rupture of pipes and severe wear and tear. It is very important to follow certain advice regarding pipe defrosting because it is a very serious and delicate process. Rapid defrosting can lead to wear and weakening of the pipes, while slow defrosting can lead to pipe rupture. Follow the tips below to learn the different methods for defrosting pipes.
Step 1. Prepare to thaw pipes
- Turn on the frozen tap.
- Determine which pipe is frozen. If you don't know which pipe is connected to which tap, go up to the attic or down to the basement where your pipe runs and find or feel the frozen area. If the frozen pipe is behind a wall, mark on the wall where the pipe goes.
Step 2. Use a hairdryer
Turn on the hair dryer at the highest temperature and swing it slowly in front of the wall
Step 3. Use a hot air gun
This device is similar to a hair dryer, but has a lot of power. Warm up the pipes using the same movements as with a hairdryer
Step 4. Wrap the pipe with a warm towel
- Take a couple of towels and soak them in hot water. Remove them from the water and wrap them securely around the frozen part of the pipe.
- Repeat this process every 5-10 minutes until the pipe thaws.
Step 5. Use heating tape
Take an electrical heating tape, wrap it around the frozen pipe and plug it into a power outlet. The tape consists of heating elements that heat up when the tape is connected to the power supply
Method 1 of 1: Defrosting a pipe in a wall
Step 1. Increase the temperature in the house to 24-27 degrees Celsius and wait 2-3 hours
Step 2. Inspect the frozen tap for water dripping from it
Step 3. Use a jigsaw to remove the part of the wall that covers the pipe
Step 4. Apply the different methods for defrosting pipes as described above
Step 5. Repair the wall and, if necessary, paint over it
- You can simply leave the heating tape on the frozen pipe and turn it on during the cold seasons to keep the pipe from freezing.
- Turn on the heating in the area of the frozen pipes when trying to defrost them using the above methods. This will speed up the defrosting process.
- If the pipe breaks or bursts while trying to thaw it, immediately shut off the water.
- Do not keep the heat source near the frozen part of the pipe for more than one second.
- Do not break the wall unless you are sure that there is a frozen pipe behind it.
- Always wear gloves when handling hot towels and heaters.
- Always work in a dry environment when working with electrical appliances.
- Never use a gas torch to defrost a pipe. This can destroy the pipe and cause a fire.
- Do not wind the heating tape on top of each other. Wrap it around the pipe only once or in a spiral.