How Do Plumbers Unfreeze Pipes?

There are times when the UK weather can be very unpredictable, especially as far snow and freezing temperatures are concerned. The moment winter storms kick in, frozen pipes are among the most common plumbing concerns that UK homeowners often face.

When the winters turn colder, it is important to know what you should do about your frozen pipes. Unfreezing pipes is easy and quick as long as it is done properly. 

Here are some of the steps that plumbers take to thaw frozen pipes:

Identify the Frozen Parts of the Pipe

The pipes that are most likely to freeze in the house include the exposed pipes below your sinks, in crawl spaces, around the water meter, outside, and near the exterior walls. The plumber will check the pipes first for obvious signs of freezing. These can be frosted over and cold and the attached fixtures won’t function. 

The pipes may still be frozen even when you don’t see obvious signs. The plumber will look for the pipe’s frozen section by testing all the faucets in your home. If one faucet doesn’t work, this means that you are near the frozen part. Follow back that faucet to the uninsulated part of the pipe to find the frozen pipe. 

Turn On the Faucet That the Pipe is Feeding Into

The plumber will identify the faucet that the frozen pie is meant to supply water into then open it up.  They will turn both the cold and hot knobs. It will serve two primary purposes. The first one is that it will relieve pressure within the pipe to help with damage prevention. The second purpose is that once the pipe has thawed, water will start flowing out of the pipe. This is how the plumber will know that they have successfully unfrozen the pipe.

Determine What to Use for Unfreezing the Pipe

When thawing a frozen pipe, some plumbers can also use towels soaked in hot water then wrap them around the pipes. The closet faucet will be thawed first. The plumber will turn on the faucet to let the melted water drip out. Plumbers don’t use fans, torches, or hair dryers around the frozen pipes due to risks of electric shock. They will keep the heat moving to prevent overheating any section.

Plumbers can tell if they have already thawed the ice within the pipe since the water will begin to run again out of the faucets. They won’t use open flames for thawing pipes since it can lead to drastic results. Calling plumbers is also a wiser decision for pipes that are out of reach or hidden inside walls.

Stop Your Pipes from Freezing Again in the Future

Once the plumbers have successfully unfrozen the pipes, you will want to ensure that they don’t freeze ever again in the near future. In order to do this, make sure you turn on the heating of your home the moment temperatures drop. Interior doors should also be kept open to allow the flow of warm air throughout the house. Water fixtures must also be used on a regular basis, particularly in parts of your house where pipes are directly exposed to the cold weather.

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