Frozen Pipes? Know the dangers of thawing on your own

Published: Jan. 17, 2018 at 10:13 PM CST
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They block the flow of water and the flow of your day. Frozen pipes are a pain, but there are things you shouldn’t do while trying to unfreeze the drain.

“You don’t want to use open flames, especially… in spaces where combustibles are,” says Fargo Fire Marshall, Ryan Erickson.

On January 16th, a Jamestown apartment complex had to evacuate because a fire started in one of the rooms while someone was using a heat gun to unfreeze their pipes.

Fire officials say devices like heat guns should be handled by a professional because it only takes seconds for items around the pipes to catch fire.

So what is safe? The American Red Cross recommends using a portable space heater, a hair dryer, or hot towels to thaw the pipe.

Tony Gray, Home Heating and Plumbing, warns, “Make sure you’re supervising the whole operation until you have water back on.”

If there is a pipe that is consistently causing issues, Gray says to, “Leave the water running on a small trickle to keep water movement in there… That will help the line from not freezing.”

In the chance that you are not confident in your thawing abilities, seek out a licensed plumber. Gray says, “Give us a call and we’ll be happy to take care of you.”

Experts say another way you can avoid frozen pipes keep the thermostat in your home set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.