The length of time it takes for pipes to unfreeze depends on the thickness of the pipe, the thickness of the insulation and the temperature in the room or outdoor area. It can take up to 24 hours for a frozen water pipe to completely thaw out.
How Do You Unfreeze Pipes Fast?
Although you can leave your frozen pipes alone to thaw out eventually, it's not recommended. Simply because the the longer you leave the pipes frozen, the higher the chances of them bursting.
So, you want to unfreeze them as fast as possible.
Here are the simple steps to follow to quickly unfreeze your pipes
1. Turn off the water supply to your home.
2. Keep your faucets open to allow any water / steam that may be created to escape.
3. Use a space heater, heat lamp or hair dryer to thaw out the pipe. DO NOT USE A PROPANE TORCH to thaw the pipe
4. Wrap the pipe in thermostatically controlled heat tape.
This method should help you to thaw your pipes quickly but we still recommend that you keep checking them for the possibility of any leaks.
Should I Leave Faucet On If Pipes Are Frozen?
If you know your pipes are frozen, leaving the faucet on may help if they begin to thaw. Reason is that as the pipe thaws, water and steam will develop and if they have no opening to go through, they will just sit in the pipe, possibly re-freezing if precautions to un-freeze the pipes are not taken.
Will Pouring Hot Water Down Drain Unfreeze Pipes?
If you aren't able to use the items we mentioned above to unfreeze your pipes (i.e. space heater, heat lamp or hair dryer) then you may try hot salt water poured down the drain or the pipe.
Now, this won't be as easy as what we mentioned before but it may do the trick.
Here's how you do it...
1. Bring about a gallon or more of water to a boil.
2. Pour salt into the hot water until you see that the salt is not dissolving.
3. Pour this mixture down the drain or the pipe that is frozen.
Although this method takes a little more work - it should work in a pinch.
If you have any questions about unfreezing your pipes or winterizing your plumbing, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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