Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Three Ways To Unfreeze Your Water Pipes


When the winter weather sets in and the outside temperature drops below freezing for an extended amount of time there is a chance that some of your water pipe will freeze if they are exposed to the outside elements or not insulated. If your water pipes do freeze you are going to want to know how to unfreeze your pipes quickly and easily as possible. If you are handy you can unfreeze your water pipes yourself with a few basic things from around the house and maybe a few tools.Three Ways To Unfreeze Your Water Pipes

If you are not that handy or have physical limitations you alternatively may want to call a licensed plumber to unfreeze your water pipes for you. The plumber can bring specialty tools that will get your pipes unfrozen in no time. Depending on what is frozen and how long it takes the plumber to unfreeze the pipes will determine how much it will cost to do so. The average price for a professional licensed plumber to unfreeze your pipes is starts around $125.00.

Unfreeze Your Pipes With The Space Heater

If the water pipes that are frozen are located under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom vanity you can try to unfreeze your pipes by using a small space heater. What you will want to do is to open the cabinet door and turn the space heater towards the opening of the cabinet. You then will want to turn the space heater on. The space heater will warm the inside of the cabinet and the walls and most of the time the water pipes will unfreeze. This of course will only work if the pipes that are frozen are actually located in the area that the space heater is warming. You also will always want to never leave the space heater unattended and will want to shut it off if you leave the house.

Heat Tape Can Unfreeze Your Water Pipes

If you know the exact spot where the pipe is frozen and the pipe is not cracked you then can use heat tape to unfreeze the frozen water pipe. Heat tape is a specially made wire that you wrap around a pipe and then plug into an outlet and then the wire warms up keeping the pipe warm. Heat Tape come in different lengths and sizes to fit most residential and commercial applications. To install heat tape you simply just wrap the heat tape around the section of pipe that is frozen or the section that you want to protect from freezing and then you will want to plug the heat tape into your electrical source.

Using The Plumbers Torch To Unfreeze Your Pipes

If you have copper or steel water pipes you can use a plumbers torch to heat the frozen water inside of the pipe. You will want to make sure that you inspect the pipe for cracks or breaks before you unfreeze the pipe. You also will want to have experience using a torch before using this method to unfreeze your frozen water pipes. Once you locate the area of pipe that is frozen you will want to heat the pipe with the torch moving the heat back and forth. Make sure you apply a small amount of heat at a time to make sure that you do not over heat the pipe.


  1. I was interested when you stated that plumbers have tools like torches and heat tape that can be used to unfreeze water pipes. When I returned home from my Christmas trip, I was shocked to see that a large majority of my pipes have frozen over and that none of my water fixtures were working properly. If I’m going to get them working again, I’ll definitely need to find a plumber that can help me unfreeze them safely.

  2. If a waterline is thawed with a commercial butane heater, the water is re-established, stays open over night (temperature was 17 degrees). This morning it was fine, but within ten minutes of showering, water pressured dropped to zero and have no water since 7 am this morning. How can pipes possibly freeze in 24 degree weather with an hour? This is a mobile home. I experimented with heating the internal pipes by putting an electric heater within 6 inches of the pipes to my bathtub with a thermometer and waited 30 minutes. The temp on the thermometer showed 75 degrees and the pipe fitting we hot to the touch, but no water. What’s going on? This is the second time in as many days this has happened. I’m agree and more than frustrated with my landlord.

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