How do you thaw your pipes?

January 15th, 2023

When the temperature drops and the Siberian cold hits our country, it doesn’t take long for pipes in poorly insulated homes to become problematic. What to do if your plumbing freezes? In this article, the plumbing experts at Plomberie Lalonde will give you the solutions.

Don’t waste a second

If you think your pipes are frozen, you must act quickly, because they may burst. And burst pipes can cause serious water damage… and a lot of damage! Be aware that some home insurance policies will protect you from freeze damage. However, some cover risks such as fire or theft, but not freezing. Check with your insurance company for coverage, especially if you have a seasonal or mobile home.

Identify frozen pipes

To act, you need to know where the culprit is. Knowing your home’s construction, especially its insulation weaknesses, will help you find them. For example, pipes near exterior walls, especially north-facing walls, are more likely to freeze.

Check for colder areas such as:
– Closets
– Kitchen cabinets (if the water supply is faulty)
– Bathroom furniture (if there is no water supply from the sink or shower, etc.).

Locate the frost creation this will allow you to find the frozen part of the pipe. If you are not sure, you can apply a damp cloth to the pipe to identify the area to be heated. You will feel a slowdown as you pass over the frozen areas.

Thawing pipes safely

A dryer is the perfect tool to safely de-ice the pipe. Turn on the faucet and slowly move the dryer toward the frozen area to distribute the heat evenly. Other options include a small mechanically ventilated or radiant heaters, a heat lamp, or a powerful electric bulb. Place the heat source near the pipe for a few minutes, then gradually move it closer. It doesn’t always happen in seconds, so patience is required. CAUTION: Do not let the heat source touch the pipe directly. Of course, keep it away from flammable substances as well. If the pipe is frozen inside the walls, the method of heating in a progressive manner is the same. However, the distribution of heat transfer is not precise, which does the work longer. Some suggest using a propane flashlight in combination with a sheet of insulation between the pipe and the wall to thaw the pipe. This method is not recommended as it can damage the weld and has a very high fire hazard.

If the intervention does not work, contact Plomberie Lalonde immediately, it will be our pleasure to help you. The indoor and outdoor plumbing experts at Plomberie Lalonde in Gatineau have extensive experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of all types of pipes. Contact us now !



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