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What do you do if you have frozen pipes?

My dad in upstate NY has a frozen pipe in the basement. I've heard you use a hair dryer?
  • January 16 2009 - Seattle
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Answers (8)

Best Answer

That's right, a hair dryer is a safe way to thaw the pipe.  Using a torch will risk starting a fire.
  • January 17 2009
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This is why I moved to Arizona...you don't have to shovel sunshine!
  • September 04 2011
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Some folks may find this hard to believe, however has occurred in San Diego some years back.  Here is a picture of what freezing temperatures can do to a copper fitting. 




  • September 04 2011
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Why don't you just wrap it with some heat tape.  You can also get a moisture sensor to put on the floor in that area to alert you when it's leaking.  Or go one step further and tie into a shut of valve, to kill the water when it senses moisture.  I use them allot in AC condensate pans to kill the unit if the condensate line gets clogged.....Good luck
  • January 30 2009
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Profile picture for natewolf
You can also try a space heater in the basement. This happened to me this weekend. If you can section off the area with plastic sheeting or other materials... then SAFELY place a space heater in the area. My basement is a full height basement, so it was easy to do this. And I also used my hairdryer to speed up the process... And I left the space heater on low, to make sure it didn't happen again.

There are also electric pipe heaters. Similar to a "heating pad" which can be wrapped around pipes. Check with the hardware store.

  • January 19 2009
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make sure he knows where to shut his water off. Frozen pipes often burst, but you won't know it till the water is unfrozen. If it is that cold, it is better to leave a little water running out of all suspect pipes, as running water does not freeze so easliy.

Or you could just move to Phoenix and go play outside in the sun, instead of hassle with winter nonsense!
  • January 18 2009
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Profile picture for dianetuman
yes, it's a pipe from the outside that comes into the basement. he didn't cover it. He's using a hair drying and it seems to be thawing. Thanks everyone!
  • January 18 2009
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perhaps he left his garden hose attached to an exterior hose bib?  That's the leading cause.  The water in the hose freezes right up into the house.
  • January 17 2009
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