DIY Network

How to Thaw a Frozen Pipe

Pipes can freeze-up in really cold temperatures if not properly insulated. Learn how to quickly thaw the frozen pipe to keep it from bursting.

More in Plumbing

  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Thaw the Pipe

Locate the most likely place the pipe is frozen. Open up the closest valve or faucet to the frozen area (Image 1).

Get a small bucket of hot water and some wash cloths. Dip a washcloth into the hot water, and then lay it on the frozen pipe (Image 2). Keep switching out the washcloths so they're always hot.

Once water begins to trickle out of the valve or faucet, get a hair dryer. Place the hair dryer below the pipe so that the heat will radiate all around the pipe (Image 3). It's very important that you don't get too close to the pipe or hold the hair dryer in one place for too long. This could damage the pipe so keep it moving.

Work from the valve back, keeping the hair dryer a few inches from the pipe. nce water starts coming out of the faucet, turn it off and check for leaks.