Defrost Frozen Water Pipe

Jan 24, 2024


Welcome to White Plumbing Company, your trusted experts in home services, plumbing, and water heater installation/repair. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with detailed instructions and techniques on how to defrost frozen water pipes. By following our expert tips, you can safely and effectively resolve this common winter plumbing issue.

The Dangers of Frozen Water Pipes

During cold weather conditions, water pipes can freeze, leading to a variety of potential problems. When water freezes, it expands, which puts immense pressure on the pipes. This can lead to cracks, leaks, or even burst pipes, causing water damage and flooding in your home. It's crucial to address frozen pipes promptly to prevent further damage.

Identifying Frozen Water Pipes

Before you can defrost your frozen water pipes, it's essential to identify them correctly. Signs of frozen pipes include:

  • No water flowing from the faucet
  • Frost or ice visible on the pipes
  • Strange smells coming from the faucet

Defrosting Techniques

Method 1: Using a Hair Dryer or Heat Gun

One effective way to defrost frozen water pipes is by using a hair dryer or heat gun. Here's how:

  1. Turn off the main water supply.
  2. Position the hair dryer or heat gun a few inches away from the frozen area.
  3. Move the device slowly along the pipe, evenly distributing the heat.
  4. Do not concentrate the heat in one spot for too long, as it may damage the pipe.
  5. Once the water starts flowing again, close the faucet and turn on the main water supply.

Method 2: Using Warm Towels

If you don't have access to a hair dryer or heat gun, you can use warm towels to defrost the pipes. Here's how:

  1. Soak towels in warm water.
  2. Wrap the towels around the frozen pipes.
  3. Leave them in place until the pipes thaw.
  4. Once the water starts flowing again, turn off the main water supply, remove the towels, and turn the water back on.

Method 3: Applying Heat Tape

Heat tape is a specialized product designed to prevent freezing. Here's how to use it:

  1. Wrap the heat tape around the frozen pipes, ensuring it covers the entire affected area.
  2. Plug the heat tape into an electrical outlet.
  3. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on temperature settings.
  4. Leave the heat tape in place until the pipes thaw.
  5. Once the water starts flowing again, remove the heat tape and insulate the pipes for future protection.

Preventing Frozen Water Pipes

Prevention is crucial in avoiding the hassle and potential damage caused by frozen water pipes. Here are some preventive measures:

  • Insulate your pipes with foam or pipe sleeves.
  • Seal any gaps or cracks in exterior walls near pipes.
  • Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air circulation.
  • Let faucets drip during extremely cold weather.
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses.


In conclusion, if you encounter frozen water pipes, it's important to act swiftly to prevent potential damage. By following our expert techniques in this guide, you can safely defrost your frozen water pipes and avoid further plumbing issues. Remember to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of future freeze-ups. If you require professional assistance, don't hesitate to contact White Plumbing Company for all your home services, plumbing, and water heater installation/repair needs. Stay warm and protected!