The Right Way to Thaw a Frozen Pipe

Frozen Pipe

The Right Way to Thaw a Frozen Pipe

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We at Nagra Bros. are committed to giving you quality, 24/7 service to help give you peace of mind and professional results every time you need us, both for emergencies and routine maintenance. Contact Nagra Bros. Plumbing and Heating by sending us an email at contact@nagrabros.com, or call us at any time at (604) 767-0545.

While Vancouver is known for mild temperatures, at least when compared to the rest of Canada, we definitely have our share of cold spells. When the mercury dips below 0oC, you may wonder if your pipes have frozen; if a pipe has frozen, then it has to be dealt with (unless you’re okay with a burst pipe and subsequent water damage to your home… which we doubt you’d look forward to). As always, the best way to identify and deal with a frozen pipe is to call a professional like us at Nagra Bros. Misidentifying a frozen pipe, or improperly thawing one, can result in a burst pipe and extensive water damage as a result. Heating it too quickly can also have this effect. That being said, it’s better to know more about a problem than not, so we’re here to walk you through some of the steps that are taken when dealing with frozen pipes.

Identifying a frozen pipe

So, first things first: how do you know if a pipe is frozen? The easiest way to see if a pipe is frozen is to turn the faucet on. If no water comes out, then you’ve got a frozen pipe on your hands. To pinpoint a frozen pipe, you should check places in your home that are most vulnerable or prone to freezing, such as pipes in uninsulated walls, drafty basements or attics, and other places that are exposed to cold air and temperatures. If you see frost on the outside of a pipe, then it will usually have frozen; not all frozen pipes show frost though, so be careful not to overlook ones that have frozen internally. You can open the faucet that is connect to the pipe in question, and see if the blocked area can be zeroed in on.

Thaw it

Once you’ve found the frozen pipe, congratulations! You’re ready to deal with the problem at hand. Thawing a frozen pipe can be a delicate procedure, especially since it has to involve gradual, evenly distributed heat. Using an open flame, such as a propane torch, is incredibly risky and can not only lead to a burst pipe, but also invites catastrophes like being burned or your house being set on fire. A thermostat may work, but it will take a long time and cannot adequately deal with pipes that aren’t fully enclosed in a solid room.

You could use a hairdryer, provided that the heat is being run back and forth in order to evenly distribute it across the pipe. Using a heater can also work, but make sure to avoid a fire by keeping it away from flammable objects like wall materials. Heat tape (also called heat cable) also works, as it can be wrapped around the pipe and then plugged in to gradually warm it up. That being said, make sure to be careful with heat tape and don’t keep it on your pipes all the time, as a risk of fire is still present.

Don’t take chances

The chances of you risking a fire or burst pipe are higher if you try to do it yourself. If you do get a burst pipe, immediately turn off the water valve in order to stop the water from further damaging your home. Don’t take risks; let us do it right the first time by evaluating and fixing frozen pipes.

We at Nagra Bros. are committed to giving you quality, 24/7 service to help give you peace of mind and professional results every time you need us, both for emergencies and routine maintenance. Contact Nagra Bros. Plumbing and Heating by sending us an email at contact@nagrabros.com, or call us at any time at (604) 767-0545.

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