How Long Does It Take For Pipes To Unfreeze (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 30 to 60 minutes

Change in seasons is completely normal every year all around the world and during these changes, it is better to be prepared for them. Spring begins the first, followed by summer, autumn and the year ends with the winter. It is not only humans who experience changes during the seasons, but the environment and pieces of equipment used by humans also change both their physical and chemical characteristics. When the temperature goes down beyond zero at times, everything tends to get frozen.

One thing that gets frozen but must be for it to work well is pipes. Imagine the despair one will face when they turn their pipes on and just a grinding sound comes out and no water. That’s what happens when the pipes freeze and the water flowing inside them will also freeze. Water is a necessity everybody should have. There are many ways to thaw a frozen pipe. Frozen pipes will thaw themselves naturally as the climate becomes warmer and changes itself, but it will certainly take more time than being thawed by humans.

Usually, when humans thaw frozen pipes, it will take about 30 to 60 minutes at most. Yet, when frozen pipes thaw themselves naturally, it can take days, weeks, months, even years. There are many things to do when one is dealing with frozen pipes.

How Long Does It Take For Pipes To Unfreeze?

StagesTime
Unfreezing pipes will get the water to flow again in30 to 40 minutes
Unfreezing pipes can take about30 to 60 minutes
The risk of bursting begins after4 to 5 hours

People living in cold regions usually insulate the interiors of their homes and their piping systems, so that the pipes don’t freeze often, especially during the winter season. It is better to make sure the basemen are insulated and the tap must be kept open a bit to drip so that the water doesn’t freeze inside the pipe. Exterior pipes take about 12 hours to thaw themselves, especially when the ground and exterior walls are frozen solid and the basement is also frozen without insulation.

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Pipes can freeze overnight, but there are many DIY methods to thaw frozen pipes.

It is better to call a plumber if necessary, but pipes can also be thawed by the inhabitants with the right materials. It usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes to thaw pipes using DIY methods. Many preventive measures can be followed to keep the pipes from freezing. When the temperature goes down beyond zero degrees, it is better to leave the faucets dripping a little bit.

Why Does It Take That Long For Pipes To Unfreeze?

Wrapping vulnerable pipes with heat tape or insulation, leaving the garage door open to let the heat get in if the garage is unheated and some pipes could get frozen are some ideas that can be followed.

When one goes away for a while, it is better to turn off the water and drain pipes, so that the water doesn’t run and cannot freeze the pipes. When pipes are covered with cabinets, it is better to leave them open and expose the pipes, so that the pipes can get some warmth. When pipes freeze, there is a probability that they will burst within 4 to 5 hours, so it is better to thaw them before leaving the house. The materials used to thaw pipes include a heat lamp, heat tape, and handheld hairdryer.

Conclusion

When extra methods are used to thaw the pipes, there is also the chance they might burst, so some prefer to let the pipes thaw themselves out. It is also advised to keep the pipes closed if they are frozen. Opening frozen pipes can also cause the pipe to burst. This is because when the pipe is frozen, the water retained inside it will also be frozen, and when the pipe is opened, water flowing through will build pressure on the ice, causing the pipes to break or burst.

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It is better to leave the heat on inside the house and let the pipes thaw themselves out. When the DIY methods are not done properly, there is a high chance that cracks might form on the pipe, which can cause water to leak once the pipe is thawed.

References

  1. https://awwa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/j.1551-8833.1963.tb01056.x
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0255270198000841
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