How To Unthaw Water Pipes

If you’re facing frozen water pipes, you need to act quickly to prevent them from bursting. The good news is that unthawing water pipes is a relatively easy fix, and you can do it yourself. In this article, we’ll guide you through step-by-step instructions on how to unthaw water pipes.

Why Do Water Pipes Freeze?

Before we dive into how to unthaw water pipes, it’s important to understand why they freeze. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water inside the pipes can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst. This can lead to costly repairs and water damage.

How to Prevent Water Pipes from Freezing

The best way to avoid the hassle of frozen water pipes is to prevent them from freezing in the first place. Here are some tips to keep your pipes from freezing: – Insulate your pipes with foam insulation or heat tape. – Keep your home at a consistent temperature, even when you’re away. – Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate. – Let faucets drip to keep water flowing.

How to Unthaw Water Pipes

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – how to unthaw water pipes. Here are the steps you need to follow: 1. Turn off the main water supply valve to your home. 2. Open the faucet closest to the frozen pipe to allow water to flow once the pipe is unthawed. 3. Locate the frozen pipe. It’s usually in an exterior wall, crawl space, or attic. 4. Use a hairdryer or heat lamp to warm the frozen pipe. Start at the end closest to the faucet and work your way towards the frozen area. 5. Be patient. It may take several minutes for the pipe to unthaw. 6. Once the water starts flowing, keep the faucet open and let the water run for a few minutes to flush out any remaining ice. 7. Turn the main water supply valve back on.

What Not to Do When Unthawing Water Pipes

While unthawing water pipes is a simple process, there are a few things you should avoid doing: – Don’t use an open flame to warm the pipes. This can be dangerous and cause a fire. – Don’t use a propane torch or any other device that produces an open flame. – Don’t use electrical appliances near standing water.


Here are some frequently asked questions about unthawing water pipes:

Q: How do I know if my pipes are frozen?

A: If you turn on a faucet and no water comes out, or the water pressure is low, your pipes may be frozen.

Q: Can I unthaw water pipes with hot water?

A: It’s not recommended to use hot water to unthaw frozen pipes. This can cause the pipes to burst.

Q: How can I prevent my pipes from freezing again?

A: Keep your home at a consistent temperature, insulate your pipes, and let faucets drip during cold weather.


Unthawing water pipes is a simple process that can save you from costly repairs and water damage. Remember to be patient and use caution when unthawing your pipes. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to unthaw your water pipes and get your water flowing again.