Cracks in plumbing often occur when water freezes. This is because ice expands and applies pressure to the inside of pipes. If you experience a frozen waterline at your home, learn how to thaw it quickly and prevent your water supply from freezing again with the following steps.

Materials Needed

  • portable heater
  • blow dryer
  • towel
  • pipe insulation (tube or roll)
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • thermal tape
  • waterproof heat lamp

Thaw The Plumbing 

Turn off the water supply so that pipe sections outside do not burst while you are thawing them, due to the additional stress that is placed on them while the valves are open. Set up a portable heater near the frozen pipe sections so that it is aiming directly at the plumbing. Plug in and turn on the heater. It may take a while to thaw out the frozen sections.

If you would like to assist with speeding up the melting process, adjust a blow dryer to a high setting and hold it over the water line sections that are frozen. Once the pipes are thawed out, wipe the exterior sections off with a towel.

Add A Layer Of Protection

Prevent water inside of the pipe sections from freezing again by applying a layer of insulation to the outside of each one. Measure the plumbing that is exposed and purchase thermal insulation that is long enough to cover it. Insulation that is preformed into a tube shape or that is flat and comes on a roll can be used. Wrap the insulation firmly around the plumbing. Use scissors to trim its edges.

Cut pieces of thermal tape to cover the edges of each piece of insulation. Secure the tape by pressing it firmly against the outside of the plumbing. Turn on the water supply and go indoors to make sure that water comes out of the faucets when they are turned on. 

Use A Heat Lamp On Days That Are Extremely Cold

The insulation will prevent the plumbing from freezing when it is cold outside, but it is also a wise idea to use a waterproof heat lamp on days where the weather is predicted to be below freezing. A waterproof lamp will continue working, even if ice or rain come into contact with it.

If you are following the weather reports for the area that you live in and learn that it is going to be severely cold outdoors, install a heat lamp that hanging over the plumbing or pointed towards the plumbing from the ground. By doing so, you will be increasing the odds that your water supply will not freeze.

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