Thaw Outdoor Water Lines And Keep Them Protected

If you live in a cold climate where water lines inside of the pump house on your property often freeze, learn how to thaw them out with the following steps. Once the pipes are working the proper way, insulate them to prevent them from becoming frozen again.


  • electric heater
  • hairdryer
  • towel
  • ruler
  • thermal insulation
  • thermal tape
  • scissors
  • hanging heat lamp

Thaw Out The Plumbing

Turn off the water supply. Plug in an electric heater and aim it towards the portions of the water line that are frozen. To determine which sections are frozen, feel the plumbing's exterior with your fingertips. If any sections have ice on them or have a frosty appearance, they are the ones that need to be heated up. Use a hairdryer to assist with thawing out the pipes.

Hold the dryer a few inches from each affected area and move it back and forth for several minutes. Once the pipes have thawed out, you will see water dripping from their surface. Dry the pipes off with a towel.

Insulate The Plumbing

Measure the length and width of the water lines that you would like to insulate. Purchase thermal insulation that is the proper size. Thermal insulation can be found in plumbing supply stores or home improvement centers. Wrap the insulation around each section of plumbing. Use thermal tape to secure the ends of the insulation. Use scissors to trim any excess portions of insulation.

Turn on the water after you have allowed plenty of time for the pipe sections to thaw. To be safe, wait a few hours so that you can be sure that the water in the lines is flowing freely. If you turn on the water supply too soon and the waterlines weren't thawed out properly, the ice in the lines may cause portions of the plumbing to crack.

Prepare For Cold Weather

Prepare for weather that involves temperatures that are going to be below freezing. Although the insulation will protect the pipes from needing plumbing repair, it is still a good idea to take additional measures during frigid temperatures. Install a heat lamp near the outdoor plumbing and turn it on before going in your home for the night. Turn faucets on inside of your home so that water is slightly dripping out through each one. These additional measures will protect the water lines from damage and will keep water flowing through them at all times.