How To Defrost Frozen Pipes
A story from CBS Pittsburgh reported yesterday that a man’s house was reduced to ruble after a fire because he was trying to thaw frozen pipes with a blow dryer and a heater. Luckily the man, who was asleep, got out of his home in time. There are several things to take from this story. The man lost all of his possessions. The exposed pipes were under the house which was built on stilts due to its close proximity to a creek. Remember, when a house is raised off the ground, cold air circulates around the entire house. The house was battling very frigid elements, single digit temperatures.
We have written in other articles how to keep exterior pipes from freezing but let’s do a quick review. First if the pipes are exposed, insulate them. Materials can be easily found at your nearest Home Depot. Second, if temperatures are plummeting outside, let the water run out very slowly in your faucets. If you establish a clear flow of water, usually the ice will clear out of the pipe.
The problem with using fire, such as a propane heater is, it always entails the risk of starting a larger fire. If your pipes do become frozen, do not take it upon yourself to try to unfreeze them. Call your local fire department, a plumber, or a disaster restoration specialist to be safe.