A few weeks ago we posted some tips on DIY home heating insulation. While it’s always best to take preventative measures, problems can certainly still arise. Should you discover that your water pipes have frozen this winter, you may be able to save a few hundred dollars by diagnosing and fixing the problem yourself. Believe it or not, it’s a fairly simple fix!

The first thing you’re going to want to do is locate the frozen pipe. It’s likely that you noticed pipe was frozen because a faucet in your home wasn’t working. If another faucet in the house is working, we’ve narrowed it down, as you now know that the problem pipe is located between those two faucets. Areas that are commonly subject to pipe freezing are ones that the home heating system doesn’t effectively reach – areas such as basements or attics. Believe it or not, due to clever design, outdoor pipes are actually unlikely to freeze.

When searching for the pipe, keep an eye out for leaks or cracks. Freezing results in pressure change and expansion, which can lead to cracked pipes – a sign that is visible from the pipe’s exterior. In the absence of cracks, it’s a good idea to use your sense of touch and sound. Feel the pipe with your hand and try to locate the coldest area – it should be a significant temperature change. Also, a good method is to gently tap the pipe with a hard object (i.e. a wrench), while paying attention to the sound – a solid, less hollow sound is a dead giveaway. If you can’t locate the pipe this way, it’s likely in an inaccessible area. Unfortunately, if inaccessible, it’s best to call a plumbing specialist to service the problem. If you do locate the pipe, however, let’s get to work!

In order to actually unfreeze the pipe, we need heat! Genius, right?! Tried and true methods include a hair dryer, heat gun, and heat tape. We realize most people will opt for the hair dryer or heat gun. If that’s the case, it’s important to keep the dryer/gun a few inches away from the pipe, and to keep it moving constantly, never focusing it directly on one spot for more than a few seconds. Also important to mention is that heat gun method is NOT recommended for PVC pipes as it can cause damage. After a few minutes the ice within the pipe should begin to thaw – saving you money!

If the problem is a bit larger than this, or you think you may need some help, please feel free to contact Joseph’s Affordable today! We’re quick, dependable, and glad to help with any situation you may have! Also check out some of our real customer testimonial reviews – pulled directly from our Google+ user-submitted review page. Become a happy customer!

Be sure to check back for more tips, tricks, & advice! See you soon!
– Joseph’s