What to do when our pipes freeze in the winter?

February 2nd, 2023

When temperatures drop and cold weather sets in, poorly insulated pipes can cause problems. It’s important to act quickly if you suspect your pipes are frozen, as they can break and cause major water damage. We’ll provide some pointers to help you in this next article.

Locate the problematic pipe

Plumbing in a home is usually found hidden behind walls or under floors, or in the basement, but can also be visible in bathrooms, and kitchens. First of all, it is important to know that plumbing in a house generally includes hot and cold-water pipes, sinks, toilets, showers, bathtubs, laundry equipment and other sanitary facilities. To find the source of the problem, knowing the construction of your home and its insulation weaknesses can be very helpful. Pipes near exterior walls, especially those facing north, are more prone to freezing. It is suggested that you find the frost creation, as this will tell you the frozen part of the pipe. If in doubt, you can apply a damp cloth to the pipe to define the heating point (the resistance point). You will feel a reduction in speed as you pass over the frozen areas.

How do we thaw our pipe?

A hair dryer is safe for thawing the hose. Open the valve on the faucet and slowly move the hair dryer towards the frozen area. Patience is required as this may take some time. WARNING: The heat source must not touch the hose directly. Of course, one should also stay away from surrounding flammable substances. If the frozen pipe is inside the walls, the heating method is the same. However, the distribution of heat transfer is not as precise, which requires even more patience. Another suggestion is to use a propane flashlight with a sheet of insulation between the wall and the pipe. This technique is not recommended as it can cause damage to the weld and present a high risk of fire.


If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, prompt action should be taken as they can burst and cause serious water damage. Some homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage caused by freezing, while others only cover damage caused by fire or theft. So, check with your insurance company as soon as possible.

Can’t solve your pipe problem? It is best to contact a plumbing expert. For your small to very large projects, trust Plomberie Richard et Fils Inc. as your trusted plumber.

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