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How to thaw a frozen pipe

As the winter seems to be getting worse, you might be finding that your outdoor pipes are beginning to freeze over. Defrosting an icy pipe is an easy job, if you go about it the right way, so keep reading to find out our top tips. 

1. Locate the frozen pipe

If you switch your taps on and no water comes out, then there is a frozen pipe somewhere in the system. Take a look at the exposed pipes under the sink, in the basement and around the exterior of the house to see if any appear frozen. Usually, they will be coated in frost or bulging slightly. If one if frozen, it is likely others are too, so check thoroughly. 

2. Open the faucet

Before thawing the pipe, open the faucet that the pipe leads to, in order to relieve pressure and allow the water to escape as the pipe thaws. 

3. Where to begin thawing

You should start thawing the pipe near the faucet and work towards the blockage. This ensures the melting ice/steam will be able to escape through the faucet. Starting close to the blockage increases the risk of your pipe bursting, as the pressure builds.

4. Different ways to thaw the pipe

There are several ways for you to thaw the exposed pipe. Here are 4 options:

  • Hair dryer- This is the easiest way to thaw a pipe. All you need to do is point the heat at the pipe, starting close to the faucet and moving towards the blockage slowly. Be careful not to let the hair dryer come into contact with the water. 
  • Heat lamp/portable space heater- The indirect heat from the lamp or heater will thaw the pipes easily and quickly. Again, be sure to keep the electrics away from the melting water.
  • Hot towels- This is a safer option as no electric is involved, although it works much slower. Dip towels in warm water and wrap them around the pipe to slowly thaw the blockage. 
  • Electrical heating tape- You can also apply electrical heating tape directly onto the pipe. This will distribute heat through the pipe, helping it to thaw. 

5. What to do if your pipe does burst

If a water pipe in your home does burst, you should switch the mains water line off immediately, too prevent any more water leaking and causing damage. Once this is done, get in touch with our team as soon as you can, using the details below.

All your home heating needs in Ashford Kent 

We offer a range of heating services across Ashford Kent- covering Tenterden, Maidstone, Canterbury, Margate, Romney Marsh, and East Sussex. The winter months are the time when problems are most likely to occur with your boiler and central heating system, so we are always on hand to help in times of emergency. To get in touch with our team of gas engineers today, give us a call on 07768 618877, fill out the handy contact form on our website, or send us an email at We hope to hear from you soon!