There is a lot of information on the web about how to thaw your frozen pipes. But there’s not as much about what not to do. So, if you’re thinking about creative ways to defrost your pipes this winter, the very least you can do is avoid the following:
1. Using An Open Flame
Never use a direct flame to thaw frozen pipes. This will create a fire hazard and can be very dangerous. I know you want to get your pipes unfroze as quickly as possible, but slow and steady wins the race. Instead of applying a hot, open (dangerous) flame, try using a hair dryer instead. Just make sure you’re never standing in water to avoid electric shock.
2. Using A Propane Heater
All propane heaters release carbon monoxide and require ventilation. Generally, that’s fine outdoors. But bringing that indoors can be very dangerous. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is responsible for almost 25% of all propane related fatalities. Bottom line: I would avoid ever taking a propane heater indoors, even if just temporarily thawing your pipes.
3. Blowtorching Your Pipes
Before you get all Tim the Toolman Taylor and try to solve your frozen pipe issue like the real manly man that you are, I want you to head over to Google and search blowtorching frozen pipes. What do you see? Story and story about “Man uses blowtorch to thaw pipes and sets house on fire.”
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of unsafe ways to thaw frozen pipes, but just as many and more safe ways to accomplish the task. Save yourself, your home and your family the time and danger and do not attempt any of the methods listed on this page.
For safe and effective ways to prevent frozen pipes, and thaw them when they do freeze, read this article: How to Avoid Frozen Pipes and What to Do if They Freeze