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Frozen pipes are a common plumbing concern, especially in the colder parts of the country. The water in pipes exposed to severe cold may freeze, and frozen water exerts tremendous pressure. As a result, frozen pipes may leak or break and cause thousands of dollars in damage.

So how do you thaw frozen pipes, avoid pipe bursts, and minimize the risk of damage? While calling a professional plumber is the best and safest option, you don't need to pick up the phone just yet. Let’s look at X tips that you can try at home before you call the plumber or while they are on the way and save yourself from the inconvenience.

#1. Prevent Pipe Freezing

For most plumbing problems, it is best to have a proactive approach. Dealing with frozen pipes is not an exception. As obvious as it may seem, preventing pipes from freezing is the best way to avoid burst pipes and associated damage.

With a functioning heating system and proper insulation, you can keep your pipes from freezing even in cold weather conditions. If you live in a region where the outdoor temperature is usually below zero, you must never set your thermostat below 58oF. With this indoor temperature, your pipes are in a better position to fight the cold air that infiltrates your home.

If the heating system does not function well or the heat from your functioning HVAC system does not reach the pipes located towards the outer walls of your home, the pipes may still freeze. In that case, you need additional preventive measures. It is a good idea to wrap electric heat tape around the pipes plugged into an electrical socket. The tape stays warm using electricity and prevents freezing. You can also try several other measures, such as fiberglass insulation. When using insulation, make sure you insult pipes in your attic, basements, and crawl spaces as the heating system do not help maintain a higher temperature in these areas of the house.

#2. Work with Your Hair Dryer

Couldn't insulate your pipes right in time? Now you may need to thaw frozen pipes. A hairdryer can give you a good start. You can use a hairdryer to thaw frozen pipes. However, you need to locate the blockage first. Once you have identified the part of your pipe that is frozen, you need to position your hairdryer such that it can heat the ice blockage as closely as possible. So you can't just get started with heating your pipe using a hairdryer. You will need to do some pre-work for better results.

Another important thing that you must keep in mind when using a hairdryer is your pipes' material. A hairdryer may be more effective if you metallic pipes such as copper or galvanized steel. In case you plan to use a hairdryer to thaw frozen plastic pipes, make sure you keep a check on the heat. Plastic pipes can withstand temperatures up to 180oF, and your hair dryer may be capable of producing heat that could melt the pipe. So be extra careful when you are dealing with plastic pipes.

#3. Let the Water Run

Another effective way to thaw frozen pipes is to open the tap and let the water running. Running water can help thaw frozen pipes as it can help melt the ice in your pipes and clear away the blockage. Here, let's not forget that the water temperature does not matter, so you can run hot or cold water and see the results.

#4. Invest in a Home-Use Thawing Machine

If you live in very cold regions where frozen pipes are a frequent concern, it is best to invest in a thawing machine. If you look at it, a thawing machine is quite similar to a small welding machine. It has two electrical leads attached to two sides of the ice blockage. These electrical leads heat the ice in between using electricity. The technique is very effective for thawing frozen metal pipes. However, it may not be an effective technique for PVC pipes. Moreover, when using electricity to thaw frozen pipes, make sure you correctly follow the safety instructions.

#5. Never Work with Open Flames

As you intend to thaw frozen pipes, always remember you must never work with open flame. Use of equipment such as propane torch may be extremely dangerous. It will not only damage your pipe but can also set your property to fire. Therefore, it is best to completely avoid the use of open flames to thaw frozen pipes.

#6. Know When to Call the Experts

If none of the above tips are effective for thawing frozen pipes or you are unable to locate the blockage, instead of waiting for the ice to dissolve on its own, it is best to call a professional plumber. Seldom do ice blockage dissolve without causing damage. If you leave it unattended, the ice blockage will likely cause your pipes to burst.

So without wasting any time, it is best to call a professional plumber. Since they deal with such problems regularly, they have the right skills, experience, and equipment to deal with the blockage without causing any damage to your pipes.

Call a Professional for All Your Plumbing Problems

Whether it is a frozen pipe or a leakage or pipe burst resulting from frozen pipes, Mesa Plumbing can deal with all. With years of industry experience, our licensed and trained plumbers and technicians can deal with all your plumbing problems in no time. Call now at 480-832-1660 and find out more about what we do.

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