The winter of 2015 has given us a harsh reminder as to how temperature plays a role in our ordinary lives. It’s been many years since the news sprouted so many stories about frozen pipes. City main water lines did burst and communities rediscovered what it is like to go without water. Now, to the the thawing of the the frozen water pipes! Help!

I learned the deal several years ago. Grab a hair dryer, plug it in to an outlet, and get moving under the house. The conventional electric hair dryer will provide more than enough heat to get the pipes flowing again.

There’s one small logistical problem. Where are the pipes frozen? One needs to be familiar with the location of the hot and cold water pipes. We must be aware there are two separate lines which provide water to the bath and kitchen, plus the washer and the toilet.

Often the pipes will freeze at the most distant point, yet this is not always the case. During extraordinary cold nights, the water pipe will freeze near the point of connection under the house.

The freeze is usually not the main cold water going into the house. The lines are more apt to freeze coming from the hot water tank, and they are usually located near the main line.

When in the drying mode, I tend to concentrate on the 90 degree elbows and the short runs in between.

Prevention: Let The Water Drip!

When we are in the know (in the snow more like it) or we suspect that cold arctic blast is arriving, we should let the water drip. Let the water drip I say!

In the past, I have always let the cold water drip through the night. I thought that it was probably not a good idea to let the hot water drip. Now I have seen my error.

Let The Hot Water Drip Also

If the weather forecast looks abnormally cold, below zero degrees Fahrenheit, then I have found that it is wise to let the hot water drip also. The hot water will sometimes be the first to freeze if left unattended.

If you’ve experienced a hard freeze with the pipes, then you know that it may take up to 3 or 4 hours trying to thaw the pipes out. If daybreak gives you cold, bitter temperatures, then you’ll be better spending the better part of the morning with the electric hair dryer in your hands, and the toes will be shivering.

Let the water drip I say! And if severe, let the hot side drip as well.