How to Thaw a Frozen Pipe
Before doing anything, shut off the water supply to that section of plumbing (or the entire house if that’s the only option) because the real trouble begins after the thaw. That’s because the frozen water may be acting as a plug, preventing water from spilling out of the cracks in your pipes. When that plug is thawed, water gushes out. It’s a good idea to be ready with a mop, bucket, and towels in case there’s a plumbing leak.
“It’s not the frozen pipes that really get plumbers’ phones ringing.”
“It’s the thawing pipes that leak and spew water after a hard freeze.”
Use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen length of pipe. Wrapping freezing pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape (from $50 to $200, depending on length) is also an effective way to quickly thaw a trouble spot.
Don’t thaw pipes using a propane torch, which presents a fire risk.
Frozen Water Pipes
The pipes in your home can freeze in cold weather. This can leave you with no water or cause your pipes to burst, leading to expensive property damage. Take steps to protect your pipes from freezing and learn what to do if they freeze.