Heating Frozen Pipes


Heating frozen pipes may be a difficult thing to do if you’re not aware of remedies. A freezing pipe is like a can of soda that explodes when left in a freezer unattended. In the same way, when water in a pipe freezes, it expands and bursts out causing a serious problem. Forming of ice in the pipe does not actually cause the pipe to break or to stop working efficiently. It’s not even the expansion of the ice against your wall that causes its breakage.

Continued freezing in a pipe causes an increase in water pressure between the freezing point and a closed faucet. This increase in the water pressure leads to pipe failure. In this case, you need a qualified plumber to work on heating frozen pipes.

What to do to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Insulate them – Extremely cold weather or holes in a building can produce cold air that comes in contact with your pipes. This cold air can cause freezing and bursting of pipes. But when they are protected with insulation along their entire length, they are safe from freezing.
  • Slow down or stop the transfer of heat – When heat in the water inside the pipes transfers to subfreezing air, water freezes. To prevent this, install the pipes only in heated areas, and keep them away from crawl spaces, attics, and vulnerable walls outside your home. In existing homes, you can ask your plumber to re-route your vulnerable pipes to safe areas.
  • Keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open – This idea can help in heating frozen pipes under the sink and adjacent outside walls. The warm air coming from these cabinets will circulate freely around the pipes making them warm.
  • Use electric heating cables and tapes as an option – With their built-in thermostat, they can help to prevent water from freezing. Tapes that have no thermostat can be plugged in if you need heat for the pipes.
  • Let the water flow – This can provide relief when water pressure builds up between the ice blockage and your faucet. By preventing excessive pressure, you can avoid bursting pipes when they freeze.

When frozen pipes occur, it’s recommended to call a professional immediately. The cost may be expensive, but you can search for a company offering a flat rate on materials and labor to do the job of heating frozen pipes.