Home / Life & Style / Frozen pipes: Do THIS to stop your outside plumbing breaking down this winter | Life | Life & Style

Frozen pipes: Do THIS to stop your outside plumbing breaking down this winter | Life | Life & Style

When a home’s water pipes freeze it can require more than just the help of a plumber. 

Frozen water pipes can crack and hundreds of gallons of water can be lost in a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage and potential for mould. 

The best way to fix a frozen water pipe is to thaw it – in other words, defrost it. 

But it is important this is done correctly so as not to cause the pipe to burst. 

Thebalance.com offers some tips to go about thawing a frozen water pipe. 

Turn on the tap

Before attempting to thaw a frozen pipe, turn on the tap (plumbers will call this a faucet) the pipe feeds water into. Make sure to open both the hot and cold handles. 

This will help relieve pressure in the system and allow the water to escape once you begin to thaw the pipe. 

Where to start the thawing process 

Begin the thawing process near the faucet then work your way down to the blockage. 

Doing it this way will help make the melting ice and set is able to escape through the open faucet. 

Depending on whether your pipes are exposed or enclosed there are a number of techniques you can then use. 

Plumbingsupply.com suggests how to deal with exposed pipes: 

Hair dryer – working your way back from the faucet end of the pipe to the frozen section, turn on the hair dryer and point the heat at the pipe. 

Heat lamps – using heat lamps in you don’t have to sit holding a device for ice to start melting – you can get up and leave it. 

What to avoid

Attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame – not only will this damage the pipe but it could also start a fire in your property. 

If the pipe bursts, serious damage can be caused to the structure. Aviva.co.uk suggests how best to deal with one. 

Turn off the water supply, drain the system, turn of heating, turn off the electrics, collect the water by moping it up or collecting it in buckets, then call a professional to come fix the leak. 

Call a professional if you are unable to thaw the pipe, locate the frozen pipe or feel uncomfortable carrying out the procedure. 

To prevent a frozen pipe from forming in the first place, you can keep the heating on during winter, allow faucets to dry slightly and seal up any holes and cracks. 

Looking to save money on energy bills this winter? Keep your home at THIS ideal temperature


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