How to thaw frozen pipes

As the weather continues to get colder, it becomes increasingly more important to be aware of the impact temperatures can have on your home. Pipes freezing are unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence in the winter, especially in the Midwest where the temperatures tend to be lower. It’s good to know what causes pipes to freeze, how to identify them and how to thaw your pipes if they do freeze.  If there is too much damage from a burst pipe, don’t worry, you can also sell your home as-is fast. 

Why pipes freeze

32 degrees Fahrenheit is considered freezing, a hard freeze is anything from 25 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter these temperatures are experienced more than a couple of times. When this happens, temperatures only have to drop 20 degrees for a span of a few hours for exposed pipes to freeze. To prevent this it is important to insulate exposed pipes. When exposed pipes are insulated they will stay above-freezing temperatures and have a lesser chance of freezing or bursting when temperatures drop. 

How to find frozen pipes

When you discover your pipes are frozen, it’s important to find out which  pipes exactly are causing the problem. Your home is full of different pipes. Each shower and sink has its own piping system. To make it more confusing, pipes can run inside and outside of the house. Pipes can run for hundreds of feet and locating the ice-filled pipe can be very difficult. 

To locate frozen pipes, start by checking areas with less heat, like the basement, attic or any empty or unused rooms. Turning on all the water in your house can help with your search. You will know if a pipe is frozen if pipes in a room aren’t working. If no pipes are working then your main water source may be frozen. 

Frozen pipes can be easily identified if you know what you are looking for! Here are a few signs to keep your eyes out for:

-Condensation on the outside of the pipe

-Frozen condensation on the outside

-Small cracks

-Bulging pipes

-Odors from the pipes

How to thaw

If you’ve tried turning on your water and nothing is coming out, you might have frozen pipes! Follow these steps to thaw your frozen pipes this winter.

1. Turn on faucets

You’ve detected what pipes are frozen, now it’s time to thaw! To relieve the pressure from the frozen pipes, turn on the faucet to prevent a burst pipe.

2. Heat

Slowly applying heat is key, but there are several ways you can do this. Using a hair dryer is one way or you can wrap the frozen pipes in thermostatically controlled heat tape. If you decide to use a hair dryer or even a space heater, start by start by aiming the heat source at the end of the pipe and move it gradually toward the frozen section. During this process, leave the faucet on and continue this until the water pressure is back and the pipe is thawed.

3. Check faucets

Make sure to check that all of the other faucets in your home have running water to ensure that all the pipes are not frozen. 

Sell your home as-is fast

If thawing your home's pipes didn’t go as planned, you have options! Sell your home as-is fast to Best Price Homebuyers. We’re located in Omaha, NE, and will give you a cash offer for your home! Our process is fast and you will receive a cash offer in as little as 24 hours. Contact us today to get started.