How To Safely Thaw Frozen Pipes - My Plumber Kelowna


By Dave Bangar

How To Safely Thaw Frozen Pipes

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tips For Dealing With Frozen Pipes to Prevent Them From Bursting

Frozen pipes can be a worst-case scenario for Kelowna homeowners, but they don’t have to be a major crisis. While frozen pipes in the wintertime are at risk of bursting and causing significant water damage to your home, in many cases, a severe outcome can be prevented. When the issue is caught early, most Kelowna homeowners can easily thaw their frozen pipes and prevent them from bursting and causing costly damage before a plumber can come to assess the issue. Keep reading step-by-step instructions on how to safely defrost the frozen pipes in your Kelowna home this winter.

What Happens When Pipes Burst and How to Prevent It

Frozen pipes are something that can occur during the winter months when temperatures drop down to below 0 degrees Celsius. This issue is most common in older homes where the pipes have not been properly insulated.

When this happens, water inside the pipes can freeze and expand as it turns into ice. This expansion of the water puts pressure on the pipes and can cause them to burst. 

Fortunately, this problem can be easily prevented with proper winterization of your home.

Here are some steps you should be taking to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Insulating pipes located in unheated or poorly insulated areas using foam pipe insulation sleeves, heat tape, or fibreglass pipe wrap
  • Sealing any gaps or cracks in the walls, floors, and foundation of your home
  • Keeping the heat on so your home stays warm in the winter even when you aren’t home
  • Letting your faucets drip overnight
  • Drain your outdoor faucets before winter

How to Tell If Your Pipes Have Frozen

While frozen pipes can be a serious situation to find yourself in, the good news is that it’s usually pretty easy to spot this problem early on. Here are some of the telltale signs that you have frozen pipes:

  • Reduced water pressure
  • No water coming out of taps
  • Leaks
  • Ice or frost forming on the outside of pipes

Steps For Thawing Your Frozen Pipes

If you believe your pipes are frozen, don’t panic. Follow these steps to safely defrost your frozen pipes before the issue progresses into a full-blown plumbing emergency.

Turn On Your Faucets

If your pipes have only just started to freeze, turning on at least one of your taps and allowing water to flow will help prevent the pipe from completely freezing. This can also help if your pipes have already completely frozen as the running water will help to receive pressure and prevent the pipe from bursting.

Expose the Pipe

If your frozen pipe is buried in the wall or ceiling, or under the floor, you’ll need to gain access to it by cutting a hole in the floor or drywall. This will help you gain access to the pipe so you can apply heat directly to the frozen area.

Apply Heat

Once you have located the frozen pipe and have direct access to it, gradually apply heat to it using any of the following tools:

  • A hairdryer
  • heat tape
  • A space heater
  • An electric heating pad
  • A warm towel or rag

Do not attempt to use an open flame to thaw your pipes under any circumstances.

It’s also important to note that depending on how frozen the pipe is, the temperature outdoors, and the thawing method you have used, the process of defrosting your pipes could take anywhere between 30 minutes to several hours.

Call a Plumber

Whether you were successful at thawing your frozen pipes or are now dealing with a burst that has caused significant water damage to your Kelowna home, we always recommend calling a plumber immediately. A plumber can help to assess the damage and make the appropriate repairs if needed and even recommend some options for properly winterizing your home to ensure the issue does not recur.

At My Plumber Kelowna, we have a team of licensed, trained, and highly experienced plumbers who can help resolve any type of plumbing issue you may be experiencing in your home or business. We’ll also conduct regular inspections to prevent a disaster from occurring again in the future and give you peace of mind.

Call us today at 250-601-0000 or fill out a form on our website and we will be in touch ASAP.

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