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How to thaw your frozen pipes

Just a trickle of water from your faucet? You might have a frozen pipe.

If you woke up this morning to just a trickle of water coming from your faucet, you might have a frozen pipe.

The American Red Cross has provided tips to protect and thaw your home’s pipes in case of freezing weather.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

  • A sure sign of a frozen pipe is just a small trickle or no water at all coming from a faucet. The most likely place where the freeze happened will be against outside walls or foundation where the water service enters your home.
  • Keep the faucet open while treating the frozen area. Once the water inside the pipe begins to melt, the flowing water will help melt the ice.
  • Apply heat to the section of the pipe using an electric hair dryer, portable space heater or towels soaked in hot water. Keep any space heaters away from flammable materials and never use an open flame. Apply the heat until water pressure is restored.
  • Check other faucets in the home to determine if any other pipes have frozen.
  • If you can't find the frozen area or are unable to thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

How to Prevent it from happening again

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let warmer air circulate around the pipes.
  • Let cold water drip from faucets served by exposed pipes. Even a trickle of water prevents pipes from freezing.
  • Install a "pipe sleeve" or "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can also provide some protection to exposed pipes.

You can read more information about preparing for winter weather on the Red Cross’ website.