Got Frozen Pipes? What To Do To Get Water Flowing Again!

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Frozen PipeOne of the biggest challenges that we face in the winter at our little mountain abode is dealing with frozen water pipes. Our cabin is constructed very similar to an RV in terms of how the plumbing is run. If we don’t pay very close attention to the temperatures, we have learned that we’ll wake up to the unpleasant chore of thawing frozen pipes.

Our plumbing is comprised of what I believe is called PEX tubing. The pipes are made of a flexible plastic material which is really easy to work with but it comes with its own set of problems when it becomes necessary to thaw them out. The main one is that we can’t really apply much heat to them or they become soft and melt.

Today, I’m going to be sharing some tips about things that have worked for us on how to thaw frozen pipes. We’ve had our share of experience with this over the years and I’m hoping that the lessons that we have learned might help you in some way. Keep in mind that I’m merely sharing tips that have worked for us. If you’re having a hard time getting your pipes thawed, the best thing to do would be to call a plumber so they can get your pipes thawed out before they crack or burst.

What To Do About Frozen Pipes

The first thing you need to do when you realize that your water pipes are frozen is to not panic and do something that will end up causing you more problems. Keep in mind that your pipes are frozen because the temperature inside the pipes stayed below 32 degrees Fahrenheit long enough for an ice dam to form. The solution to this problem is to safely raise the temperature of the section of the pipe that is frozen until the ice dam thaws out. This may seem like an easy fix on the surface but if not done properly, you can end up with a big mess on your hands.

I’ve heard some people say that you should turn your main water supply valve off if your pipes freeze. I don’t actually know if this should be done or not. You should call a plumber and ask them if they think you should shut your main supply valve off. If your pipes have actually cracked or burst, water will leak all over when the ice in them finally thaws so if this were to happen to me, I would shut off the water at the main supply valve to stop the water from leaking all over and quickly call a plumber to fix the pipes. That is unless it was a repair that my husband thought he could do. In that case we’d have him fix the broken pipe. If you’re not qualified to do this kind of repair properly, you really should call a plumber.

I don’t know if this is the “proper” way to thaw frozen pipes but we like to leave the main supply valve on when we are thawing our pipes. We also like to turn our faucets on. The reason we do this is because if we’re able to thaw the ice dam just enough to let a tiny trickle of water begin to flow through our pipes, we’ve found that the flowing water will often thaw the rest of the ice dam.

Some people have been known to pull out the old propane torch and start pouring the heat to their metal pipes with an open flame to thaw them out but this can pose a significant fire hazard and should NEVER be done! It’s much safer to apply heat to the pipe at a slow controlled rate than to bombard it with an open flame.

It’s really important to point out that frozen pipes can be much more than an inconvenience. When water freezes, it expands and the expanding ice in your pipes can cause them to burst which will likely result in some expensive water damage repair bills in addition to the cost of having your pipes repaired. If you have frozen pipes and you can’t access them to safely thaw them, you should probably call a plumber who will bring a specialized pipe thawing machine to your house.

My husband can be a bit stubborn and he doesn’t believe in calling someone to do something that he thinks he can do himself. The tips that I’m about to provide you on how to fix frozen pipes and get the water flowing again have worked for us but WE ARE NOT PLUMBERS so if you choose to use any of these tips, you need to understand that you are doing so at your own risk. What worked for us may not necessarily work for you or be the best way to do thaw pipes.

When you realize that your water pipes are frozen, it’s time to act and I mean act right away! This isn’t something that you want to deal with after work. The longer your pipes are frozen, the harder they will be to thaw and the higher the chance that they will burst. Before you do anything, make sure that you know where the water shutoff valve to your house is. This way you won’t waste any time turning the water off if a pipe does burst.

Step one that we take when thawing out our frozen pipes is to try and figure out where the pipes are actually frozen. The fact that you opened a faucet and no water came out doesn’t mean that all of your pipes are frozen. If you caught the problem soon enough, it’s possible that there is just a small section of pipe that is frozen. This is usually going to be in a portion of pipe that is in an unheated area of your home. Some likely culprits are crawl spaces, attics, garages, under sinks, and in unfinished rooms in basements.

We find that it’s often helpful to go room by room and turn on one faucet at at time. We start at the faucet that is closest to the main water supply line for our house and then work towards the faucet that is farthest away and we can sometimes narrow down the source of the problem. Once we have figured out where the frozen section of pipe is, we try to figure out if it is in a location where we can get some heat to it. This may mean opening the cupboards under our sinks and turning the heat up in the house or it may mean placing a space heater near a frozen pipe. If you do this, make sure that you don’t put the heater too close to any combustible materials! You don’t want to have frozen pipes and start your house on fire at the same time!

The main thing is that we try to do something immediately to start bringing the temperature of our frozen pipes up above 32° so that the ice dam will thaw and allow water to flow again. Remember, the longer the pipes stay frozen, the more pressure is building in them since water expands when it freezes. Since our pipes are plastic, we prefer to warm our pipes slowly so we apply mild heat to the frozen pipe with a space heater or a hair dryer on the low heat setting. We’ve even had success by wrapping the frozen section of our pipes with towels that we have soaked with hot water from the stove.

As mentioned above, we’ve had success by opening the faucets that are affected by the blockage so that when we are able to get the pipes warm enough to allow a tiny trickle of water through, the process of water flowing through the pipe will often thaw the remainder of the blockage. Once we get that trickle of water to start flowing, we’re usaully in good shape and the thawing will happen faster and faster until there is no more ice in our pipes.

How To Unfreeze Water Pipes That You Can’t Access

Whenever our pipes freeze, the ice blockage usually occurs in a three foot section of pipe that is buried in the trench that goes from our water storage tank to our house. This means that there’s no possible way of applying heat to the pipe because it’s buried. We’ve tried insulating it as well as we can but nothing seems to keep this section of our plumbing from freezing on really cold nights.

My husband can be quite resourceful and one day he was thinking that what we need to do is figure out a way to apply heat to the blockage from inside the pipe. After letting the problem roll around in his head for a while, he came up with a solution that he thought would work so he headed to the hardware store to buy a few supplies. Keep in mind that our cabin isn’t plumbed like most homes so this method probably won’t work for your home. I just thought I would mention it because it’s a clever method of thawing our pipes that my husband came up with.

What he bought was a brass fitting that had garden hose threads on one end and a 1/4 compression fitting on the other end. The only other thing he bought was a roll of 1/4 flexible plastic ice maker supply line. This is the kind of tubing that you connect to the back of your refrigerator so that it will supply your freezer with water and make ice cubes for you.

Then all he did was connect the ice maker supply line to the brass fitting with the compression nut. He then screwed the fitting of the garden hose connection onto the top of a submersible water pump. What he actually created with these parts is a homemade miniature water jet.

I must admit that I think this device is pure genius and it has worked perfectly for us every time. If you’ve ever had to call a plumber to clean your drains with a water jet, you’ve seen how they thread a hose with a high pressure nozzle down the drain and the pressure from the water breaks the blockage loose. This device works in a similar way except it’s not high pressure that thaws the ice, it’s the constant low pressure stream of warm water that is hitting the ice dam in the pipe that does the thawing.

My husband made another fitting that connects a four foot piece of flexible PEX tubing to the pipe that supplies our cabin with water. It has a cap on it so when he doesn’t need to use it, he just caps it off.

Whenever our pipes are frozen, he first closes the water shut off valve at our cistern and then he places the pump in a five gallon bucket of slightly warm water. He then attaches the ice maker tubing to the pump with the fitting that he bought at the hardware store. He then places the end of the four foot flexible PEX tubing in the bucket. Next he starts feeding the 1/4 plastic ice maker tubing into the four foot section of PEX. When the tubing reaches the ice blockage, he plugs the pump into a GFCI outlet and it starts shooting a steady low pressure stream of warm water directly at the ice dam. Note that this device doesn’t build up any pressure in the pipe. The water simply hits the ice blockage and the excess water just flows back up through the PEX tubing and back into the bucket. There’s no mess at all and as the ice dam begins to melt, he slowly inches the 1/4 plastic tubing further and further into the pipe until it is completely thawed. When it breaks through the ice dam, he just pulls the ice maker supply tubing out, caps the line, turns the water supply valve back on, and we’re back in business. He always carefully checks for leaks to make sure that he made a water tight seal when he reconnected the pipes.

The illustration below is a very rough drawing of the device that he built for thawing out frozen water pipes. You’ll have to excuse my art work but it will give you an idea of what it is that I’ve been trying to describe to you. In the drawing, the brass fitting isn’t screwed onto the pump but when it’s in use, we do in fact screw the fitting onto the pump so that the water will flow out through the flexible plastic ice maker tubing.

Thawing Frozen Pipes with Mini Water Jet

2/20/15 Update: I’ve received a few comments from people who had 100 or more feet of buried pipe to thaw. I was pleased to hear that few people who commented said that they were able to get their pipes thawed using this trick. Feel free to read their comments which are located at the bottom of this page after you finish reading this article.

I thought I should mention that we’ve never had to feed that much of the ice maker supply line into our pipes. Theoretically, I guess it could be possible to get the tubing stuck inside of the pipe if you’re feeding that much line into the pipe; especially if the pipe isn’t a straight run. If you’re feeding a long stretch of tubing into your pipe, be very careful that you don’t get it stuck. If it was me, I would carefully feed a few inches in and then pull it out; slowly repeating this process to make sure I didn’t get it stuck in the pipe. If you decide to use this tip, you’re doing so at your own risk and you need to use your own best judgement. It has worked for us many times but your results may be different depending upon your specific situation.

Frustrated With Your RV Pipes Freezing?

Lately I’ve been getting some emails from people who have frozen RV pipes in their motorhomes, 5th wheels, and travel trailers. When we first moved off the grid, we were making use of our 5th wheel to shower in and wash our dishes. We moved onto the mountain at the end of September so as you can imagine, it wasn’t long before we started dealing with the unpleasant problem of frozen RV water pipes.

We found that when our RV pipes froze, the ice dam was almost always in the section of plastic pipe under the RV that runs from the water tank to the pump. The first thing my husband always did was get under the RV and use a hair dryer to thaw that pipe out. Thawing this section of pipe out usually got the water flowing in our RV again. We actually installed a GFCI outlet outside that we could plug the hair dryer into when my husband had to use the hair dryer while he was laying on his back in the snow.

Many RV’s are going to have flexible PEX type plumbing. This means that RV pipes might be good candidates for being thawed with the micro water jet that I described above if thawing the pipe under the RV with a hair dryer doesn’t work. Keep in mind that this device has worked for thawing our pipes. If you decide to make a similar device, you are doing so at your own risk. Thawing frozen RV pipes poses a particular problem for many people because they are usually not going to be made of metal. This means that a plumber probably can’t hook up his pipe thawing machine to start thawing them out.

The challenges that people run into when they wake up to find their RV pipes frozen are that it’s not always easy to access the pipes. Step number one is to get a pen and paper and figure out exactly where the pipes are running. Start at a location where you know there is a pipe and then start following it to it’s next fixture. I find that it’s helpful to draw a little blueprint of where all my RV pipes are so I know where they might be frozen.

Once you have figured out where all the pipes are routed, it’s time to do some detective work and ask yourself where the pipes are most likely to have frozen. I would start by looking at pipes that aren’t exposed to interior heat sources. We’ve found that you can often feel the pipes and tell a difference between the sections that are frozen and those that aren’t with the back of our hands.

After we’ve figured out where our ice dams are located, we need to figure out a way to SAFELY get some mild heat into those areas. We like to use mild heat because we don’t want to start a fire and because our pipes are plastic, we don’t want to melt them. The same rules that I described to thawing frozen water pipes above apply here. Never use an open flame to thaw your pipes and never put your heat source too close to any combustible materials!

If using a hair dryer doesn’t work to thaw our RV pipes we’ve found that the easiest way for us to thaw out our frozen RV plumbing was with the use of our little homemade water jet. We’ve often been able to use this device to thaw the specific section of plumbing that happens to be frozen by finding the nearest PEX fitting and disconnecting the pipe there. We then attach a five or six foot section of flexible pipe to this fitting so that we can put it into our bucket with the submersible pump. This enables us to set up the water jet and funnel the water back into the bucket instead of spilling it out into the RV and making a huge mess. This is where we’ll start feeding the little water jet into the pipe. Keep in mind that our 5th wheel had the type of fittings on it that we could easily disconnect and reconnect. If the pipes in your RV don’t have this kind of fitting, this method won’t work for you. After thawing the ice dam, we reconnect the pipes with the fitting and carefully check to make sure that we don’t have any leaks.

Remember, unless your RV pipes have been exposed to sub-freezing temperatures for a really long time, it’s likely that only a small section of your RV’s pipes will be frozen. It really pays to figure out where the ice dams actually are. Once you find the exact location of the blockage, you can get to work right away and focus your efforts on getting heat to the sections that are actually frozen. This could possible save you a lot of time and help you get the water flowing in your RV much sooner.

Frozen Pipes Are Serious Business

I’ll end this article by reminding you that frozen pipes can be an inconvenience if dealt with quickly but if you don’t get them thawed out in time or you thaw them improperly, this minor distraction in your schedule could result in a very expensive repair bill. When in doubt, call a plumber to get your pipes thawed out! Much of their winter business is devoted to thawing pipes so they are quite good at it and they will usually have specialized equipment that is designed specifically for this purpose.

31 Responses to “Got Frozen Pipes? What To Do To Get Water Flowing Again!”

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  1. Will says:

    Thank you for posting this! I had 1″ pex frozen in the ground and this did the trick. I used a hose and an hot water off the water heater and it made short work of 20 feet of ice. kudos!

    • Patty Hahne says:

      I’m really glad to hear that our little homemade water jet trick helped you out. It has saved our bacon too many times to count. Thanks for letting me know that my article was helpful to you!

  2. Al says:

    What about taping the 1/4″ line to the outside of the hose if it is accessible. This should also slowly melt the pipe. Dump in some hot/warm water every once in a while. This would probably take longer but there you may not need to shove a dirty tube down your water supply line.

  3. Dennis Stockton says:

    Thanks for the tip! It saved me a lot of labor during a recent cold snap.

    I live in Colorado @ 8700′ and we recently had multiple -10 degree days that allowed my water lines to the laundry room addition to freeze. (First time in three years but frozen they were!) Anyway, as Will did, I just adapted the 1/4″ pex to my hot water heater and ran it up through a piece of 2″ pvc to the frozen pex lines. (The pvc pipe served to catch the returning water and divert it into a 5 gallon bucket.)

    Since I found it necessary to cut the pex lines in order to get the 1/4″ line into them I finished the job by installing a couple of shut-off valves and a pair of tee’s that allow me to drain the lines to the laundry room during cold snaps.

    Again thanks for posting this tip! (Also I’m really enjoying reading your blog now that I’ve found it.)


    Dennis Stockton

    • Patty Hahne says:


      I’m so glad to hear that our little tip worked for you. It saved our bacon on numerous occasions as well!



  4. Amanda says:

    My pipes froze last night but today it is supposed to get up to 45 so I left it alone. I did not leave my faucets running because I don’t get home until after 6pm and I did not want them running all day. Is this okay or should I have done more?

  5. Heather says:

    Thanks for your tips! We live on Georgian Bay with a shore well 100ft from our home. Temps are currently -41C at night. Despite having a heat line, our line froze and your tubing to submersible pump idea did the trick within 15 minutes. We had about 40 ft of tubing and thankfully it was just long enough.

    • Patty Hahne says:


      You’re most welcome and I’m so glad to hear that this little trick worked for you. Glad to hear that your water is flowing again. Stay warm! 🙂

  6. Dave says:

    I love and relate very well to; thank you so much for this idea. We have 100 feet of supply water line from well to cottage. I used this method to feed 50 feet of flexible pipe down the supply line gradually advancing further until the ice damn had melted. Worked like a charm; very clever idea. Thank you!

    • Patty Hahne says:


      Thanks so much for your kind words and I’m really glad to hear that my tip worked for you!

  7. Chip corlew says:

    I live in upstate NY and the weather here has been below 0 most nights. My underground pipes froze up. I am 120′ from the main water supply. I need to know if I should buy. 120′ supply line? The other concern is pushing the line 120 ft and not having bind up.

    • Patty Hahne says:

      Hi Chip, I’ve never tried to thaw a line that is that long so I couldn’t tell you for sure. The ice dam may not be 120′ from your access point so you may not need that much line. If you do try to feed that much line through your pipe, I’d be very careful so you don’t get it stuck. Especially if the pipe doesn’t run in a straight line. You don’t want to run the risk of it getting stuck in you pipe. Never force the line in your pipe. You’ll have to use your best judgement but if it was me, I would feed a few inches in and then make sure I could still pull it out. Then I’d feed a few more inches in and pull it back again. This way, I would slowly be inching my way into the pipe and the line would be less likely to get stuck in my pipe. Like I said, use your best judgement and be careful. Hope you get your pipes thawed. Best of luck to you.

  8. Erin Woods says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this method! My husband was able to melt 45 feet of our frozen solid pipe with it. It two 2 long days..but it got through, at 2am we finally had water. We live in PA and have lived in the same house for 15 years and this is our first frozen pipe experience. We have plastic pipes and we called several plumbers and none of them had anything to thaw it out. It froze a week ago, if I had found your website soon, I am sure it would melted right through the frozen section because it wouldn’t have been 45 feet long. We had the hose in the pipe a total of approximately 80 feet. We kept boiling water to keep it warm. It was alot of work keeping the water warm and keeping the hose pushed in the pipe, but it was well worth it!! Thanks Again!!! 🙂

    • Patty Hahne says:


      I’m so glad to hear that our little trick helped you! It was out of necessity that my husband eventually tired this at our house. Once he did, we were always able to quickly thaw our plastic pipes. We’ve never fed that much plastic hose into the pipe but several people have recently commented that they have and that it worked for them. Thanks so much for sharing your results! It’s gratifying to know that I’m able to help people in some small way.

  9. Maggie says:

    Would poring h. Peroxide down the drainer work? It melt the icy window on cars, pls let me know, we need water, been without it for 2 days now! HELP, we r women, we can’t crawl under house to heat up pipes, lol

    • Patty Hahne says:

      Sorry it took me a while to get back to you Maggie. I don’t think pouring anything down your drain would help. If water doesn’t come out when you turn the faucet on, it would probably be something like a supply pipe that has an ice blockage in it. If water comes out of the faucet when you turn it on but it doesn’t go down the drain, then you would need to look at finding a way to thaw your drain or clear another type of blockage.

      In your situation, I suggest calling a plumber.

  10. john reece says:

    Did the trick – pipes or hoses froze on the “Shack”…

    Used hairdryer on outside pipes and followed the hoses to the kitchen and bath. It took a good 45min – 1hr, but it was valentines day and a good memory!

    Thanks for posting


  11. Edward rudd says:

    I live in Montana year around in a 5 wheel and it’s like-35 to-40 my water lines are frozen but only to the water heater can I rap them with heat tape and will a hair dryer un thaw them out

    • Patty Hahne says:

      Hi Edward,

      I would try the hair dryer but make sure to keep moving it along the cold spot in the line. It can be a bad idea to apply to much heat to plastic pipes at one particular location for too long. You might be able to feel it with your hand to find the frozen spot. Be prepared for it to take quite a long time to thaw.

  12. marty says:

    We turned off the water and drained faucets, but didn’t blow out the lines before leaving for Christmas with relatives. The day after our return the pipes froze. Do you think turning off the watwe had anything to do with this?

  13. Scott Chalmers says:

    Hello sometimes when water is unavailable you can use an electric hot water wall paper removal machine to create a hot vapour in conjuction with the small tubing to insert into the frozen pipe.
    Although water is still required, a gallon will do it. This method works very quickly.
    You are able to rent these machines at low cost from any tool rental company.

  14. Ron says:

    I had pex installed for a water system that has some of its piping running trough the attic over the garage that is not insulated. He did put foam insulation around it. In my part of Texas it seldom gets below zero. How could would it have to be before insulated pex would burst? The piping fist installed by someone else was very thin and cracked at 8 degrees. We are looking at a some days coming up when it will get to 17 at night and not get above freezing for a few days. I do not want a repeat of that last mess. Thank you!

  15. Amy says:

    Amazing!! I am so thankful that I found this post this post this morning when I found we had a frozen pipe. We had over 25 feet of frozen pipe and it worked like a charm!!! My husband said “ this is genius “

    • Patty Hahne says:

      I’m very happy to hear that this worked for you Amy! Happy New Year!

  16. John says:

    I’m amazed author is still following thread since 2011. I have a little story of frozen pipes to share.

    Having been a lifelong warm weather dweller, frozen pipes were but a blip a few times in the coldest days of winter. This summer I had the good fortune of moving to face a “real” winter in New England for the first time. Throughout the sunnier months, I heard repeated warnings about having to deal with said real winter for the first time in my life. So I psyched myself up to expect the worst, and painful cold suffering.

    Once winter arrived, my non-polar-bear killing low carbon footprint living philosophy decided to test my limits and progressively lower the thermostat from 55, 53, 50, 47…43…wait, the lowest limit on this thermostat is 45! Somewhere along this character building journey, a 100 year record setting arctic freeze breezed through the entire north eastern United States, and my pipes began to freeze. No problem, I will drip the pipes upstairs. I don’t know how much to drip, let’s try and minimize water waste…polar bears you know?

    Next morning, no hot water. Cold water still runs. This is a bit counter intuitive…. After much investigation, the cold water lines stay central to the condo, where as the hot water lines run to the tankless heater in the closet next to the garage at the outside wall so the gas heater can vent. Both inlet and outlet lines from the water heater had frozen. A space heater thawed those exposed lines, and hot water is restored to 1st 2 floors. But 3rd floor still no hot water!

    The hot line splits in the closet and runs up directly to third floor. Somewhere between the split and the third floor the line had become majorly frozen. I tried flushing cold water from the cold line through the mixer to the frozen hot line. That’s not going to do much. Next I devised a drill pump, faucet to garden hose adapter to push hot water into the line upstairs. Used a wet vac to vacuum this water back out. Repeated this many hours. No go. Next day added salt to hot water and used an air compressor to push water instead of vacuum. This pushes more water out, but still no hot water to 3rd floor. In between these attempts I also left a space running all day in the water heater closet, but it didn’t seem to warm up the room that much, and certainly not enough to melt the water in the pipes sufficiently. I also got a second faucet adapter and 50 feet garden hose to run hot water from 2nd floor to 3rd floor to see if I can flush hot water continuously instead of the small hand pump. After hooking this up, I realized hey, I have a continuous supply of hot water on the 3rd floor now! I can actually take a hot shower! To celebrate, I took a nice long hot shower, it felt good! But still no hot water directly to 3rd floor.

    3rd day went to water heater to attack the problem from the other end. I now repeatedly pressurized hot water up the supply lines, then drained it at downstairs bathroom and the hot water heater drain pipe. Each time I see brown water coming out of the bathroom sink, it does seem to be making progress. But 3 hours later, still no hot water on 3rd floor. I also found the water heater closet had drain pipe exit that left a big gap in the wall for air to flow through. Wrapping a towel outside the hole greatly reduced the draft there. The door also did not have strike plates installed, and I can see the light in the closet around the full perimeter of the door, nullifying the heat trim that had been installed. Borrowing a strike plate from a bedroom door I was able to get the door closed tight, no light, and thus no air, leaking through. I also put a la crosse temperature monitor in the closet so I can see the real time temperature. I left the space heater running while eating dinner and monitored the temperature going to 89F or so. In the meantime I had left the 3rd floor faucets slightly open in case the line cleared.

    Walking by the staircase, I hear some noises and went upstairs nervously to investigate. Really after so many failures, I was expecting to see a squirrel running around instead of any goal I actually hoped to achieve. Incredulously I see some water coming out, and my brain couldn’t quite process it fast enough to register what’s going on, but my hands instinctively turned the faucet higher, and with a big gush of water, it finally kicks in that the lines were cleared!

    Well, hopefully my little tale might help another desperate soul. I did think about trying the ice water line tube trick, but it just didn’t seem feasible with all the 90 degree angles in the PEX tubing I could visibly see. In the end, I think each of my attempts, with salt water sitting overnight, flushing hot water from the other end, and sealed up closet with space heater, did some good. I suspect flushing hot water a few dozen times from below did the most good as the space heater really didn’t heat up the space long enough to melt the ice. The ice on the floor was still ice after all, and I’m not sure how far into the iced tubes the heat can actually reach. But ultimately the space heater did finish the job.

    I’ve fully insulated that water heater closet now, and have the space heater in there in defrost mode, keeping temp at least 40F. We’re expecting much more cold weather yet this winter, so hopefully that keeps the lines clear.

  17. mark says:

    Bury your supply line deep, below the freeze line especially in extra cold areas like the mountains? Wheather, pun intended, its your well line or storage tank line.

  18. Dara Franko says:

    My issues started on Christmas Eve. There was no hot water the oil burner gauge set full I checked it numerous times it’s on the outside of the house I tapped it it felt empty. I touch the gauge and it plummeted it was a crack in it the gauge is broken the oil tank was empty. I immediately called an oil deliver. he filled the tank and said how could you let this happen you know better than this explain to him that the gauge is broken . Now with a full oil tank there’s still no heat after speaking to a friend they said well when was the last time it was serviced I went to check the tag and noticed that the light was on on the burner it was suggested I plead the tank not feeling confident with doing this I contemplated for a few days then cold my oil burner company plumber good thing I didn’t attempt it myself because I was instructed improperly and I would have made it worse needless to say the outside line was frozen he had to defrost that change the filter and bleed the oil burner. The light went off everything’s fine I live in split level house 4-story the kitchen sink cold water froze it took quite a bit of time and effort but I defrosted it for the second or third time I may add. Now I keep the cabinets open with the heater directly on. I have a heater in the crawl space below the pipe have double insulated the pipe itself. The the thermostats for the oil or set extremely high up to 80-85 sometimes I have a cold burning stove which in that room is about 110 degrees I leave the water dripping and all the faucets and run around like a lunatic every 2 hours making sure they’re all flowing properly to my surprise 2 days ago the upstairs shower cold water is Frozen. Okay I got this no problem yeah right I have a heater in that room with the door shut it’s 92 degrees in the room still no water it’s a stall shower no idea where the water lines are coming from there’s no bathroom under that one no access through the walls now what? Any help would be greatly appreciated. May I add it’s been in the single digits we had a blizzard with Incredible wins & with the windshield it’s been -8 for the past 2 weeks.

    • Patty Hahne says:

      If you don’t have access to the pipes and you don’t have the necessary tools to thaw it, my suggestion would be to call a plumber right away.

  19. Tracy says:

    Tough problem here in Nashville. Today marks my 11th day of no water after last week’s cold snap.

    My meter hasn’t moved but the temps have been well above freezing for 3 days now. I have a 1/2 mile run of 1” pvc from the meter to my house in the woods.. The utility company checked the meter and say it’s OK. I’ve spoken to two plumbers who don’t have any ideas but to wait and hope.

    Today’s the last day of good temps, then we go sub-freezing again tomorrow…;(. Any ideas will be welcomed!!… I’m tired of lugging water home in bulk from Costco…


  20. Steve says:

    I cannot believe how quick this process worked, I spent over 14 hrs. Trying other things! Forget the pipe tape,that’s useless! Thank you so much, great advice.

    • Patty Hahne says:

      I’m so happy to hear that out little trick worked for you Steve!

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