Thawing Frozen Pipes in Coaldale
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
You wake up in the morning. It’s 20 below. You turn the faucet on and what happens? Nothing. Your pipes are frozen. You’re worried. You’re frustrated. You know that your pipes, whether they are PVC or made out of metal, are in danger of bursting due to water expansion. So what do you do?
Steps to Thawing Your Coaldale Pipes
The very first step is locating the frozen areas of the pipe. In some cases the entire pipeline is frozen from the main water supply to just below the house entry. But in most cases, the frozen parts of the pipe are isolated and can be located.
Begin by turning off the main water supply in order to prevent the flow of water after the ice has melted. Next, open up all the faucets and water outlets in the house. If there is no running water coming out of the faucets then there’s a good chance that the area around the water meter is frozen. You can test the meter and the surrounding pipes by touching to see if they are extremely cold. If so, it’s likely that they are frozen. If water runs, say, in the bathroom, but not the kitchen, then the pipe in the kitchen area is probably frozen.
When you have identified the frozen pipe, then the tap connected to the pipe needs to be wide open. All of the other faucets in the house need to be turned on as well. Make sure the hot water faucets are turned on, while the cold water faucets are turned off. Once the ice has thawed enough to allow a flow through the affected pipe, turn off all the other taps to a small trickle. Do not turn them off all the way. This will keep the hot water flowing. Allow the frozen pipe to completely thaw and the water to flow freely before turning it off.
Other methods may include using a hairdryer on a low setting, using a heat lamp or other device that provides gentle warm air. If you use a hairdryer or an item that blows air, then direct the flow of air into the faucet, allowing the steam to exit. When steam builds up in a frozen pipe it can cause enough pressure to burse a heavily frozen pipe.
Items such as a blow torch or flame will inevitably create too much heat too soon causing the pipe to burst. Boiling water will also have an adverse affect on a frozen pipe. Basically, all heat applied to a frozen pipe must be subtle and incremental in order to allow the ice to melt and the metal to slowly contract.