A frozen water pipe can be an inconvenience, but a burst frozen water pipe can be disastrous. For this reason, the moment you notice a frozen water pipe, try to unfreeze it using a hair dryer or heat gun. If the pipe has already burst, however, follow these easy steps to patch it until a permanent fix or a call to a plumber can be made.
A burst frozen water pipe is caused when the water within a pipe freezes and expands, breaking the pipe. The edges of the rupture are often jagged and the break in the pipe can extend several inches. Because this is a common problem, every home owner should purchase a repair clamp set. This small plumbing kit usually contains enough material for a few repairs and is essential to complete this fix.
To begin fixing your frozen water pipe turn off the water supply to the area that is affected. Then you should melt all of frozen water in the plumbing system with a heat gun or hair dryer. Remember to keep moving the device, especially if you’re using a heat gun to prevent damaging the plumbing.
After the frozen water in the plumbing is completely melted, allow all of the water to drain from the area. Using a metal file, remove any sharp edges around where the pipe has burst. Take your time, you don’t want a burr to burst the repair. You should then take a rubber sleeve from your repair kit and place it over the rupture. Then place the metal repair clamps over the rubber sleeve and fasten them together with screws and a screwdriver.
If you don’t have a repair clamp set, a substitute can be made. Use a section of rubber hose that closely matches the diameter of the burst pipe. Cut the rubber hose down the center and place it over the burst. Then place another section of rubber hose over the cut in the first piece. Secure both pieces of rubber hose with hose clamps that are tightly attached. You may want to use a third hose clamp in the center if the burst is particularly long.
Keep in mind that these fixes for a burst frozen water pipe are only temporary and are aimed to prevent water damage in your home until a plumber can arrive. So be sure to call a licensed plumber as soon as possible to make the necessary repairs.